DETROIT – There is a cloud over the Detroit sports community, and it has nothing to do with records, ownership, coaching decisions or RBI.
Jamie Samuelsen lost his 19-month battle with colon cancer Saturday and now a family is mourning a husband and a father. Colleagues are grieving for their friend and mentor.
Mike Stone has hosted the “Jamie and Stoney Show” on 97.1 The Ticket with Samuelsen for four years. He said Samuelsen’s closest friends knew of his diagnosis, but even for them, it was hard to tell the 48-year-old was fighting for his life.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Stone said. “[Jamie] was such a kind, nice, funny and smart guy. To deal with what he dealt with, he was never a cancer patient. It became a struggle and you never knew it.”
Stone said Samuelsen had a strength within him until the very end. Monday, Samuelsen called in to 97.1 The Ticket’s morning show to let people know about his diagnosis and to urge people to get colonoscopies.
Since then, the outpouring from sports fans, teams and coaches has been overwhelming.
“[Jamie] was not outlandish,” Stone said. “He was not a guy who called for people’s heads. He was not the jokester; he was the straight man to deal with.”
Jamie leaves behind his wife, Christy, and his three children, Caroline, Josh and Catherine. That is the hardest part to come to terms with Stone said. Jamie was a true family man and everything he did was for them.
Stone said Monday’s Jamie and Stoney show will be a ‘celebration of Jamie’ and it will certainly be emotional.
“I might have notes or stories I want to tell,” Stone said. “But I think it will be from the heart. It’s the way I am, the way he knows I am. I’m off the beaten track a little bit.”
Stone expects calls from coaches and colleagues. It will be cathartic for everyone who knew and loved Jamie.
“Jamie Samuelsen; impactful, funny kind and smart,” Stone says of Samuelsen’s legacy. “As the Jewish people would say, a real a mensch.”
Everything you’re going to read and hear about Jamie Samuelsen is on the money - he was just the best - as a broadcaster, of course. But as a man, husband and father, he was a man in full. And gone too soon. Love and peace to his wife and family @ChristyTV and @971theticketxyt— Devin Scillian (@DevinScillian) August 1, 2020
I am so sad and sorry to pass this along, at the family's request. Jamie Samuelsen, the best damn friend you could ever have, a tremendous broadcaster on @971theticketxyt passed away tonight at 48. He was surrounded by his wonderful family, and he went peacefully.— Bob Wojnowski (@bobwojnowski) August 1, 2020
I am heartbroken by the passing of my great longtime friend and radio partner Jamie Samuelsen. He was one of a kind. Smart, kind and had a great sense of humor. He battled this for over 19 months.I will miss him dearly. Love you always James K.— michael stone (@stoney16) August 2, 2020
I'm so sorry to hear the news about Jamie. My prayers are with his family and friends. He was a voice that touched so many lives and will be missed. Jamie, thank you for welcoming me to the 97.1 Family. I'm gonna miss you. pic.twitter.com/rOxef89N6r— Rico Beard (@RicoBeard) August 2, 2020
Heartbroken to hear the tragic news we have lost another voice far too soon.— Ryan Field (@RyanFieldABC) August 2, 2020
I had the pleasure of getting to know Jamie Samuelson during my early years at WDFN & FOX 2, as he quickly become a trusted friend and colleague.
He will be missed tremendously. Rest easy, my friend. pic.twitter.com/XdHQ8aumPR