Godwin Pumps loses its founder

It is with regret that we note the passing of John Paz, 76. The President of Paz Brothers and founder of North America’s leading manufacturer and distributor of portable pumps, died August 12, at his home in Mickleton, New Jersey, USA, after an extended illness.

Paz was one of the three brothers who founded Paz Brothers Construction in 1956.  He was also the founder of Godwin Pumps of America, with head offices in Bridgeport, New Jersey and Gloucestershire, UK.

Born March 30, 1930 in Bridgeport, Paz was one of six children – four boys and two girls – of Polish immigrants Michael and Mary Paz. Following in their parents’ footsteps, John and his brothers showed early signs of strong determination, a keen business sense, and an incredible work ethic.  The three sons pooled their money, sought a bank loan, and with their father’s help, bid on their first job. In 1961, the men incorporated and John became president. 

Paz helped pioneer the first self-loading scraper that set new standards of earthmoving in heavy construction. This step allowed Paz Brothers to win the bid for the 1968 reconstruction of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal and in 1970 the approach to the Commodore Barry Bridge spanning the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey – two of the most successful projects in the company’s history.

In the mid-1970s on a family vacation to England, Paz investigated the opportunity to bring a new product to the USA – pumps.  He was renting pumps locally and looked into an automatic, self-priming pump manufactured overseas. As a result, he formed Godwin Pumps of America in 1976.

In 1978, he passed responsibility for the operations to his son, John Michael Paz.  John Michael became President in 1978 and remains President and owner today. 

His colleagues described John Paz as a man of great interests.  He was a world traveler, visiting Saudi Arabia, France, Poland, Austria and Romania.  He developed business relationships in these countries as well as many life-long friendships. His contagious sense of humor, unique kindness and big heart are the legacies John leaves to everyone he touched and everyplace he visited. 

John Paz (far right) and son, John Michael, to his right, at Logan Sand & Gravel, Bridgeport, New Jersey in 1983.