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Jamie Samuelsen's wife: 'Thank you for loving Jamie and celebrating the goodness in him'

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Jamie Samuelsen's wife, local TV personality Christy McDonald, thanked friends and fans for the significant outpouring of support in the days since Samuelson died from colon cancer.

McDonald posted to Twitter on Monday afternoon, her first post since Samuelsen went on the air a week ago and announced his diagnosis and that he'd been battling the disease for 19 months.

Jamie Samuelsen

Samuelsen died Saturday night at the age of 48, surrounded by McDonald and their three children.

"Thank you for loving Jamie and celebrating the goodness in him," McDonald wrote on Twitter. "He loved a wicked joke, a good game & a strong gimlet.

"We will celebrate his life, but are taking time to figure out the best way.

"How do you say goodbye to a man who made everyone feel like a friend?"

No funeral arrangements have been announced. COVID-19 has complicated traditional funerals.

Samuelsen worked in the Detroit sports-media landscape since 1994, at a variety of radio stations, but most notable WDFN 1130 The Fan and WXYT 97.1 The Ticket. Samuelsen also made regular appearances on Fox 2 and wrote periodically for the Detroit Free Press.

At 97.1, which he joined in 2012, he first co-hosted with News columnist Bob Wojnowski for four years, and since 2016 he has worked with Mike Stone.

Samuelsen missed significant time over the last month as the diagnosis got worse. He gave an emotional update last Monday on the air, saying he wasn't saying his goodbyes, but colleagues feared otherwise.

On 97.1 on Monday, the station's programming was one long, emotional tribute to Samuelsen, starting with Stone and Heather Park in the morning, and carrying over to Doug Karsch and Scott Anderson in middays.

More: Wojo: Jamie Samuelsen brought out all the goodness, in radio and in life

There were many tears shed, including from listeners who called in, many of whom never met Samuelsen.

That was the latest tribute to Samuelsen, whose death made news outlets across the country, and drew sympathies from many dignitaries in the sports community, including all four Detroit major sports teams. The Tigers on Sunday held a moment of silence. Lions head coach Matt Patricia, on his own, called into 97.1 on Monday morning to share his sympathies.

Samuelsen was a native of suburban San Francisco and attended college at Northwestern, before arriving in Detroit. He met McDonald when she worked at Fox 2 and was producing for Bill Bonds, and the couple had three children, Caroline, 16, Josh, 14, and Catherine, 11. McDonald now is a TV reporter and anchor at Detroit's PBS station.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984