Aug. 16, 1938 - June 27, 2014

Joseph M. Jayson of Getzville, who founded real estate and energy exploration and production companies, died unexpectedly last Friday at his summer home in Fort Erie, Ont. He was 75.

A standout in football and track and field specializing in the shot put and discus at St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, Mr. Jayson attended Indiana University on an athletic scholarship. During his teenage years, Mr. Jayson also worked at his father’s automotive repair garage on Buffalo’s East Side.

After graduating from Indiana University with a bachelor of science degree in education in 1961, he earned a master’s degree from the University at Buffalo in 1963.

At Indiana University, he met his future wife and business partner, Judith Phillips, who was attending St. Mary’s of the Woods College, also in Indiana. After their marriage, Mr. Jayson and his wife both taught at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf in Buffalo. The Jaysons then ventured into real estate and started J.M. Jayson and Co.

Mr. Jayson’s passion for the oil and gas industry in the 1970s led him to establish Oilmark Co,, which was then followed by U.S. Energy Development Corp. in 1980. Currently, U.S. Energy Development Corp. is considered one of the largest and most recognized independent exploration and production companies in the United States, with operations in Texas, Louisiana, Ohio, New York, North Dakota, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Montana, Maryland, Colorado, Oklahoma and Ontario, Canada. Mr. Jayson also founded Realmark Corp. and Westmoreland Capital Corp. of Getzville.

In addition to his wife of 52 years, Mr. Jayson is survived by his three sons, Jeffrey M., Jonathan M. and Jordan M.; two daughters, Jennifer M. Dunsby and Jacqueline M. Jayson-Iak; a brother, William F. Jaworski; and nine grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 3 p.m. Tuesday in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 200 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Amherst.