unknown - April 3, 2012
Jay Ward Wason, 85, of Cazenovia, passed away Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at his home.
He was born in 1926 in Schenectady, N.Y., to Marguerite Fuller Wason and Robert Erskine Wason. Jay was raised in Schenectady, he attended Mont Pleasant High School where he captained the track and cross country teams and set school records in the 600, 660 and 800 yard runs. In 1945 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served on the U.S.S. Beaver, in the Pacific Theatre, during WWII. After being Honorably Discharged, he moved to Syracuse, NY, where he attended Syracuse University on the G.I. Bill and received his undergraduate and Law Degree in 1950. It was in Syracuse that he met and married the love of his life, Martha Dolan Wason on June 18, 1953 .
He joined the MacKenzie Hughes Law Firm in 1954. He spent the balance of his career in the litigation department, and also served as managing partner. He is a past president of the Onondaga County Bar Foundation, director of the Central New York Community Foundation and director of Syracuse Cablesystems. After his retirement in 1999, he maintained a strong relationship with MacKenzie Hughes and continued to spend time at the office, enjoying the fellowship of the members of the Firm.
In addition to his unwavering devotion to his wife Martha, Jay was extremely devoted to his family, the MacKenzie Hughes Firm, Syracuse University, LeMoyne College and Cazenovia College, among other organizations and causes to which he contributed generously of his time and resources.
At Syracuse University, Jay was a member of the boxing team, cross country team, Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) and Phi Delta Phi . He was a member of the Syracuse College of Law Board of Visitors and received the College’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1986. He is a former president of the Syracuse Law School Alumni Association.
In 1981, Jay was awarded the Letter Winner of Distinction from Syracuse University. He was a past winner of the Ernie Davis MVP Award and Orange Packer of the Year Award. He is also a past President of the Varsity Club. He served on the Athletic Policy Board, was a Charter Member of the Ernie Davis Fund and contributor to the Student Athlete Fund and Stickman’s Fund.
Jay was a proud supporter of LeMoyne College, where he was a member of the board of trustees from 1982-1987 and the board of regents from 1973-1991. He was a Regent Emeritus and participated in the founding of the Gold Wave, which helps support LeMoyne Athletics. LeMoyne presented Jay the Prestigious Ignatius Honorary Alumnus Award and Salt Terrae Medal.
Cazenovia College was also the recipient of Jay’s generosity, where he supported the establishment of the Cazenovia Community Endowed Scholarship, the Library Endowment, The Equine Education Center, the Art and Design Building, the Jay and Martha Wason Endowed Scholarship and the Wason Family Archival Reading Room. He was a founding member of the Cazenovia College Athletics Booster Club and a former member of the Colleges 1824 Society. He was Vice-Chair of the Colleges Board of Trustees (1991-1993), Chair from 1993-1995 and a Trustee Emeritus. In 2009, he was awarded the College's Distinguished Service Award.
He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Martha Dolan Wason of Cazenovia, daughter Marjorie Wason Tormey of Cazenovia, son Jay W. Wason, Jr. (Sara) of Manlius and son Charles W. Wason of Fayetteville, nine grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and countless wonderful and devoted friends.
Services will be private. Donations in Jay’s memory can be made to the Francis House. On behalf of Jay, his family would like to thank all of the people who provided care to him the last few years including his physicians, nurses, the staff at Crouse Hospital, The Francis House, Gilmore Health Services and a Time For Seniors. You have all been wonderful. To send the family condolences online please visit taitfuneralhome.com.