Cover photo for Paul John Merluzzi, Jr.'s Obituary
Paul John Merluzzi, Jr. Profile Photo
1943 Paul 2024

Paul John Merluzzi, Jr.

March 26, 1943 — June 10, 2024

West Chester

Paul John Merluzzi, Jr., passed away on June 10, 2024, surrounded by his family. He was 81 years old. 

Paul was born and raised in Waterbury, CT, the oldest of four children of Paul Sr. and Julia, whose parents were immigrants from Italy. The many stories of their time growing up in Waterbury, surrounded by extended family, were legendary. After attending Sacred Heart High School, Paul studied engineering at Northeastern University on scholarship. After earning his BS in Electrical Engineering (1966), he continued his study of engineering earning a MS (1970) and a PhD (1972) from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. More importantly, Cleveland is where Paul met the love of his life and future wife Irena, when she asked him to hold her pretzels while she went off to dance at a party. The rest is history - they were married in 1969 and daughter Ericka was born in 1970. Irena and Paul were married for 55 years and remained devoted to each other to the end. 

Paul was an exceptional person - brilliant, funny, tops in his industry, and in his later life, generously gave his time, talent, and treasure to causes and interests he was passionate about.

His professional career as a process control engineer was second to none. Paul started his career at Accuray (OH) in 1973, and spent time at Stauffer Chemical Company (NY) and Fischer and Porter Company (PA) before founding his own firm, Sequential Automation Consultants in 1983. He was a frequent flyer during these years, and spent time in Japan, Spain and forty-eight of the fifty states. Paul was sought after as an expert in process control and spent time training engineers, all while staying on the cutting edge of developments in this field, even when he was in his 80s. His clients were among the top companies in the country. When Paul decided it was time to sell his firm to Applied Control Engineering, Inc. in 2010, he was retained as a Principal Consultant, partly because of his reputation in the industry and partly because he was so good at mentoring young engineers. He worked solidly until the day he went into the hospital in April 2024. Paul was known not only as an expert in his field, but was known to be fair, honest, and trustworthy. He spent 60 years building this reputation; he deeply felt that treating his customers and colleagues with dignity and respect was as important as the work he did.

After selling his firm, Paul dedicated his newfound “free time” to his passions: music and cars. Paul and Irena were volunteers and philanthropists supporting the Kennett Symphony and Mt. Gretna music organizations, where Paul served as Board President for both. Though he loved almost all genres of music, he particularly loved classical music and jazz and also supported the Philadelphia Orchestra. Paul was involved in various classic car and motorsports organizations, including the Delaware Valley Jaguar Club, where he was Board President for seven years, and he was a regular supporter of the British Reliability Run. Paul’s ideal weekend was spending it with Irena at a road rally or car show followed by a concert. He was a collector of classic cars and had many different cars over the years, but nothing came close to his love of his Jaguars, despite having to carry a complete toolkit along with him when driving any of them. There was always at least one in the shop. Paul also became involved in the Rotary Club of Longwood and the Rotary Club of West Chester in recent years. 

Family was probably Paul’s deepest and most profound love. He is survived by his wife, Irena Merluzzi, daughter, Ericka (Jonathan), grandsons, Nate and Sam, and his siblings, Tom (Karen), Jay (Jessica) and Julie and several nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews whom Paul embraced, supported, and loved as if they were his own.

Family and friends are invited to his Visitation 10:30-11:30 AM Friday, June 28, 2024, followed immediately by his Memorial Service at 11:30 AM at The Donohue Funeral Home,1627 West Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382, 610-431-9000. Interment private. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Paul’s memory to either of his beloved music performance organizations: The Kennett Symphony, www.kennettsymphony.org or Music at Mt. Gretna, www.gretnamusic.org.


 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, June 28, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Donohue Funeral Home - West Chester

1627 W. Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, June 28, 2024

Starts at 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Donohue Funeral Home - West Chester

1627 W. Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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