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Joseph J. Marranca, longtime bandleader known as Jay Maran <br> Feb. 6, 1926 -- April 1, 2007

A Mass of Christian Burial for Joseph J. Marranca, a longtime Buffalo bandleader known professionally as Jay Maran, will be offered at 10 a.m. today in St. Mark Catholic Church, 401 Woodward Ave.

Mr. Marranca died Sunday in Buffalo after a lengthy illness. He was 81.

Born in Hamilton, Ont., he came to Buffalo with his family as a child and was a graduate of Hutchinson-Central High School. He served in the Navy during World War II as a sonar operator aboard a destroyer.

Mr. Marranca started playing trumpet with friends at age 14, and a friend of his brother came up with the "Jay Maran" name. He performed aboard the Canadiana, in the Dellwood Ballroom and at many of the other top local venues of the 1940s and 1950s.

"You name it, he played it," said a daughter, Denise Exelby. "He was everywhere."

His Jay Maran Orchestra and Jay Maran Octet appeared at weddings, proms, college dances, park band shells in the summertime, the annual Italian Festival and at the Erie County Fair. Although illness kept him from playing trumpet and fluegelhorn in later years, he continued to manage and direct the orchestra until recently.

He also worked for many years as a milk deliveryman for Jones Dairy and Jones Rich Dairy. He also was a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, delivering in the Humboldt Parkway area until he retired in the early 1990s.

His wife of 50 years, Rita Granata Marranca, died in 1996.

Surviving, besides his daughter Denise, are two other daughters, Susan J. Dobinski and Kimberly A. Frerotte, and a sister, Frances Luongo.

[ANDERSON]

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