Paul P. Gwozdz died on December 1, 2011 at the age of 89. He was born in Whippany, NJ on March 17, 1922 and was a member of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church. His wife of 40 years, Lillian, predeceased him in 1991. He was the son of the late William and Fannie (Sulycz) Gwozdz. His father was a co-founder of the church in Whippany.
Paul was a rocket propulsion supervising engineer at Reaction Motors for 20 years and contributed to the research and development of liquid rocket engines for systems of national interest such as the X-1, X-15, and the first moon soft lander, Surveyor. Afterward, he was a Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Labs and Bellcore for 19 years where he received two awards: Distinguished Member of Technical Staff and Award of Excellence. He retired in 1987.
He attended Oklahoma University, Tri-State University and New Jersey Institute of Technology. He was the recipient of BS and MS degrees in engineering, was a licensed professional engineer in NJ and a member of the American Rocket Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was a past member of the National Society of Professional Engineers.
In 1942, he volunteered for a secret war-time U.S. government sponsored overseas project and for 18 months he performed testing on U.S. and British military aircraft engines in northeast Africa. He then served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946 as crew chief on the fighter-bomber P-47 Thunderbolt.
He played baseball in college, while in the service, and with the Malapardis A.C. in the Morris Major and the Inter County and other area leagues. He was an avid baseball player and enjoyed golf and other sports.
Survivors include his two sons, Paul W. Gwozdz, MD of Denville, NJ, Glenn P. Gwozdz, MD, Glenn’s wife Christina Gwozdz, MD, and grandsons William and Thomas of Bluffton, S.C. and Andrew of Chicago, Ill. He is also survived by a sister Ann Leighton of Greensboro, N.C., and is predeceased by three sisters, Mary Carman, Theresa Kaminsky and Nettie Lopata and brother, George Gwozdz.