Contractingbusiness 4284 Hobaica Biography

Thank You, Mr. Hobaica!

Oct. 21, 2014
Paul S. Hobaica, founder of Hobaica Services, passed away on October 4. I was fortunate to have met Mr. H in 2011, during a Contractor of the Year visit to the Phoenix office.

This post will take longer than a minute to read. But that's okay. It's worth the time.

The best part of serving on the editorial staff of ContractingBusiness.com is meeting contractors. Visiting their offices, seeing what they do, how they do it, and getting to know the people behind the brick and mortar.

Among my most memorable visits was to Phoenix in 2011, to interview the team at Hobaica Services, who we had selected as our 2011 Residential HVAC Contractor of the Year.

Paul S. Hobaica was there, and his sons Paul, Louis, and Mike, and other family members, and of course the teams of installers and technicians. There were plaques on the wall, and other identifiers that showed this company had many customers, had won many awards, and had been very successful.

And guess what? It was all because of the initiative of one man, Paul S. Hobaica.

Do we ever forget the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit, of the muscle, and time, and concern, and strategy that goes into not only starting a business, but keeping it thriving and . . . GROWING.

Oh yeah, growth. That means you will actually have something to show after decades of work.

For about 20 years prior to my visit, Mr. Hobaica was no longer active in the business, having sold it to his sons in 1989. But he was there often, because he loved it, loved his family, the employees, and he loved seeing their success. He was a pleasant man, content, and happy for what the company had become under his sons' direction.
And did they ever run with it. The company is an amazing service and installation leader in the Valley of the Sun.

Paul Hobaica and his parents arrived in the U.S. in 1924. He served in the U.S. military as a radio operator, participated in the Battle of the Bulge and other engagements, and won a Bronze Star for heroism.

After a couple business ventures, he started Hobaic Refrigeration in 1952, on the GI Bill. The business grew, and Hobaica fed and sheltered a family of eight. He also gave back, to churches and those less fortunate.

'In My Own Words'

From July 2005 through November 2006, son Paul J. Hobaica Sr. had the great idea to record their father telling his life story, as a husband, father, soldier, and business owner.

Here are some excerpts:

"I came to Phoenix, Arizona when I was 4 months old. We traveled to America by boat and then to