John Paz, 76, president of Paz Brothers Inc. and the founder ofNorth America’s leading manufacturer and distributor of portable constructionpumps, died Aug. 12, at his home in Mickleton, N.J, after an extended illness.
Paz was one of the three brothers who founded Paz Brothers Construction in1956. Headquartered in Bridgeport, N.J., the company specializes in heavyconstruction, performing site work, including excavation, grading andearthmoving for new development and restoration.
He was also the founder of Godwin Pumps of America Inc., with head offices inBridgeport, N.J. and Gloucestershire, United Kingdom.
Born March 30, 1930 in Bridgeport, N.J., Paz was one of six children — fourboys and two girls — of Polish immigrants. Following in their parents’footsteps, John and his brothers showed early signs of strong determination, akeen business sense and an incredible work ethic. The three sons pooled theirmoney, sought a bank loan and with their fatherhelp, bid on their first job.
In 1961, the men incorporated and John became president. John helped pioneerthe first self-loading scraper that set new standards of earthmoving in heavyconstruction. This step allowed Paz Brothers to win the bid for the 1968reconstruction of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, Chesapeake, Md., and in1970 the approach to the Commodore Barry Bridge spanning the Delaware Riverbetween Pennsylvania and New Jersey — two of the most successful projects in thecompany’s history.
Paz Brothers also owned and developed the Bridgeport Speedway, a one-halfmile stockcar racetrack, formed JBT Leasing Corp., and created the Logan Sand& Gravel Co. in Bridgeport, N.J.
In the mid-1970s on a family vacation to England, he investigated theopportunity to bring a new product to the United States — pumps. He was rentingpumps locally and looked into an automatic, self-priming pump manufacturedoverseas. As a result, he formed Godwin Pumps of America in 1976.
In 1978, he passed responsibility for the operations to his son, JohnMichael. John Michael became president in 1978 and remains president and ownertoday. The company employs more than 600 people around the world, nearly 200 inSouthern New Jersey and realizes sales of $165 million.