We’re gathered here today to celebrate the life of Paul Ruchlewicz. He was born on December
10, 1950 Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California. His parents were Tony and Catherine, who
had 3 children - Mary, Paul, and Jim. Mary had three children - Jeff, Joe, and Julie. Mary passed
away, sadly, in the mid-90s from an aggressive form of cancer, then his father and Aunt shortly
afterwards. Paul almost died of a kidney ailment at age four. He was given the first dose of
Cortisone in San Diego to treat the problem, which saved his life.
Paul graduated from St. Augustine High School and then went on to San Diego State University
for a degree in Civil Engineering. He received his Master’s Degree in Environmental
Engineering at USC Business School. After grad school, Paul landed a job with the State
Department of Water Resources in downtown Los Angeles, where he worked for many years.
He quit his stable, salaried job when Brian was born – go figure! He realized he wanted to work
for himself - and had always had an interest in real estate so he got his Broker’s License and
began building his business.
Paul met Jeanette when her brother Glenn put an ad in the paper to sell audio speakers. Paul
called several times but didn’t get an answer; however, he eventually got in touch with Glenn
and set up a time to take a look at the speakers. Jeanette came home from a day of teaching -
and getting her hair done - and found Paul sitting on the couch. Later, Paul accused Jeanette of
intentionally walking back and forth from the kitchen to make sure he noticed her. That was on
Tuesday - by Friday, they had had their first date (and Paul did buy the speakers!) The rest is
They got married in 1976 in North Hollywood, California. They bought a house shortly
afterwards in nearby Burbank, and decided to invest money in apartment buildings in the area;
which is where Paul got his first taste of true entrepreneurship.
He started to rehab and fix up old apartments, which he was able to do because of his
background in Engineering. When real estate became too expensive in LA, he started looking in
San Diego, where he met his future business partners. They started Pacific Western Realty in
the 80s with a hope to expand the company and continue investing in real estate, which Paul
did for decades, even expanding into other states.
He and Jeanette had two children, Brian, born 1979, and Emily, born in 1989. Apart from work,
he loved spending time with his family and traveling. He spent months traveling through Alaska
and driving cross-country before he married Jeanette, and then later started camping when the
kids were born - they bought an RV and spent years traveling through California, Montana, and
much of the western United States. Later, Paul and Jeanette went on to visit nearly every
Paul passed away on August 4, 2023 near Nairobi, Kenya. Paul will be remembered for his real
estate/business legacy, his passion for adventure, and love for his family, including his children
and three grandsons, along with his niece and nephews and their children. He was a wonderful
husband, father, grandfather, and uncle who touched many lives in his 72 years.