John Paz, founder of Godwin Pumps of America and president of Paz Brothers Construction, died last week at his Mickleton, N.J., home after a long illness. He was 76.
Paz founded Paz Brothers Construction in 1956 with two brothers. Based in Bridgeport, N.J., the company specializes in heavy construction, performing site work including excavation, grading and earthmoving for new development and restoration.
Paz founded Godwin Pumps of America in 1976. After renting pumps locally for his construction work, Paz looked into an automatic, self-priming pump manufactured in England and began importing the product to the U.S. Today Godwin, based in Bridgeport and Gloucestershire, U.K., is one of North America’s leading manufacturers and distributors of portable construction pumps, with its own network of rental facilities. Paz’ son John Michael became president of Godwin in 1978 and remains as president and owner. The company has annual sales worldwide of $165 million.
Paz helped pioneer the first self-loading scraper, which led Paz Brothers to win the bid for the 1968 reconstruction of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, and the approach to the Commodore Barry Bridge spanning the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 1970.
Paz Brothers also owned and developed the Bridgeport Speedway, a one-half mile stockcar racetrack, formed JBT Leasing Corp., and created the Logan Sand & Gravel Co. in Bridgeport.
Paz is also known as an international traveler with friends and business relationships in Europe and the Middle East. He is survived by his wife Barbara; daughters Judith Paz and Sharon Treece; son John Michael; three grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.