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George H. Jansen Sr., operated Jansen Brothers; March 23, 1926 -- March 31, 2012

George H. Jansen Sr., of Hamburg, who formerly operated the Jansen Brothers leather and saddlery business, died Saturday in Father Baker Manor, Orchard Park. He was 86.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Mount St. Joseph Academy and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, from 1943 to 1946.

Mr. Jansen was descended from a family of brothers who came from Holland, settled in Buffalo and founded Jansen & Sons leather harness shop in 1863. The business eventually became Jansen Brothers at Broadway and Elm Street. Jansen Brothers was known to many for its distinct window displays that included a life-sized replica of a white horse outfitted in different saddles and harnesses.

The early business began with his great-grandfather and his great-grandfather's two brothers repairing and manufacturing harnesses for horses and mules that were used by workers on the Erie Canal. George Jansen later attended to the part of the business that supplied and repaired harnessing equipment for the racing business at Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs. He retired in 1982.

His wife of 50 years, Betty Walter Jansen, died in 2005.

He is survived by a son, George Jr., and two daughters, Candace Jaroszynski and Beth Fracchine.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday in SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 66 E. Main St., Hamburg.