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EMU Hall of Fame swimmer, Traverse City doctor Jay Jones dies at 59

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Eastern Michigan Hall of Famer Jay Jones, a four-time Mid-American Conference swimming champion, died Sunday. He was 59.

Jones, the son of the late legendary Eastern swimming coach Mike Jones, competed at Eastern from 1979-83, and at that time was one of the 10-fastest swimmers in the United States in the 200 butterfly. 

Jay Jones, left, with wife Jill and family friends. Jones died Sunday at the age of 59.

He won four MAC titles in the 200 butterfly, and also won a conference title in the 200 individual medley. He also swam on four MAC-champion relay teams, and during his time in Ypsilanti, Eastern won four MAC team championships.

Jones was born in Detroit and grew up in Ypsilanti.

After Eastern, Jones attended Wayne State's medical school, and did his residency there in physical medicine and rehabilitation before moving to Traverse City, where he practiced, first in group, eventually in private practice. Jones also was an adjunct professor at Michigan State, retiring from the Munson Pain Clinic last September.

Jones was an avid fan of music, playing the harmonica and guitar. According to his obituary, he also enjoyed golfing, fishing, flying drones, playing pinball and reading fantasy novels. He also was devoted to his church.

Jones is survived by wife Jill Fenton-Jones, and children Emily and Carter, granddaughter Tessa and several nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at First Congregational Church in Traverse City. The family requests that attendees bring masks.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggest direct donations to Munson Hospice House in Traverse City.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984