Emilio Pelaez

November 1, 1934 ~ January 29, 2021 (age 86)


Emilio Pelaez, beloved son, husband, father, and grandfather passed away on January 29th, 2021.  He was 86 years old.

Emilio (Emil) was born on November 1st, 1934 in Havana Cuba to Conception Ramos and Manuel Pelaez Gutierrez.  He studied Business Administration in Cuba before marrying the love of his life, Camille, in 1956 and immigrating to the United States.  They moved to New York City and Emilio began a career with Westinghouse Electric, eventually moving to Rahway, NJ in 1976.   He worked in the International Sales Department where he used his proficiency in Spanish to grow sales to South America.  In 1983, Westinghouse was purchased by Philips Lighting and Emilio’s career took a new direction.  He took the role of Senior Deployment Analyst where he managed the importation and distribution of Philips’ Mexican lamp production manufactured in Monterrey, Mexico.   He retired from Philips Lighting after 40 years in 1996.

Emilio served in the US Army as a Combat Engineer with the US Army Corp of Engineers.  He served in Germany from 1958-1960 and was later recalled to the 301st Logistical Command. He was honorably discharged from the service, leaving as a Private First Class (E3) in 1962.

After retirement, Emilio dedicated his life to the global Catholic fraternal service order The Knights of Columbus. He joined the order in 2000, taking his Admission Degree on September 30, 2000, joining St. Mary of the Assumption Council 11213, where he took his 2nd and Knighthood Degrees.  He eventually was elected grand knight of Council 11213.  While a member of Council 11213, he joined the 4th and Patriotic Degree, earning the title - Sir Knight, as a member of the John Dawson Gilmary Shea Assembly.  His talents were tapped by the New Jersey State Council when they appointed him a District Deputy.  He served in that position for a period of four years.  In more recent years, he transferred his membership to the Rev. Dean Martin Gessner Council 3310, became an active member in the council, and served as Treasurer until his passing.

Emilio was a fun-loving man who enjoyed all social activities.  From bowling to square dancing, he was always enjoying life.  He loved to have backyard BBQs with the neighborhood and attending church functions.  He and Camille loved to spend time with their many friends at the Elizabeth Senior Center and was very devoted to their church, St. Mary’s the Assumption.

Emilio is survived by his wife of 64 years, Camille, his son Mark, daughter in law Rebecca and granddaughters Emily and Ava.  He also leaves behind sisters Giogi and Marisela, both of Venezuela. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to one of Emilio’s favorite charities – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Operation SMILE

To view the service via Zoom please use the following link:

Passcode: 9QRJr7




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Funeral Service
February 16, 2021

11:00 AM
Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home
582 Springfield Ave.
Westfield, NJ 07090

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