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May 2, 1935 – March 28, 2013

Paul William Jeter Sr., of Williamsville, who owned and operated several McDonald’s restaurants in the Buffalo area, died last Thursday after a lengthy illness in Sarasota, Fla., near his winter home. He was 77.

Born in Spartanburg, S.C., he came to Buffalo with his family in 1942. He attended School 31 and Fosdick Masten Park High School and was a graduate of Bennett High School. He attended Millard Fillmore College at the University of Buffalo and worked at the General Motors Tonawanda Engine Plant before serving in the Army from 1958 to 1960.

Returning from service, he worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a mail carrier from Station C at Main and Northampton streets. In 1967, he joined in a business partnership in a Henry’s Hamburgers franchise on Main Street with former Buffalo Bills tight end Ernie Warlick, who stayed with Mr. Jeter and his wife when he first came to Buffalo in 1962.

In 1980, Mr. Jeter opened his first McDonald’s location at Genesee Street and Bailey Avenue and went on to open three more, developing a family business with his sons.

After he retired in 2002, he and his wife built a winter home in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., near Sarasota, where he was able to fulfill his longtime desire to attend the baseball spring training camps. He also enjoyed traveling, golf and gardening, and considered himself to be an amateur gourmet cook.

A member of New Hope Baptist Church since 1961, he was involved in many aspects of the church. He designed a new kitchen, remodeled the choir room and installed ceiling fans in the sanctuary.

Mr. Jeter was a member of the Delavan Grider Community Association, the Purchasing Committee for McDonald’s Corp., the NAACP and the Urban League. He received numerous awards from McDonald’s and was given the 1987 Economic Community Award by Xi Epsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, the former Elease McCall; a son, Kirk; his mother, Inez; and two sisters, Mildred J. Richards and Ruth Baker. His other son, Paul Jr., died in 1997.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Mount Olive Baptist Church, 701 E. Delavan Ave.