Student’s death unites BU community
By Taylor Rexrode
Jones was nearing the end of the half-marathon when he collapsed on Fifth Street. The 23-year-old, who was first treated at the scene, died an hour after being transported to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center.
Services for Jones will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Shannon Rufe Snow Funeral Home, located at 6001 Rufe Snow Drive in Fort Worth. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Life Church, located at 7850 Davis Blvd. in North Richland Hills.
McLennan County Justice of the Peace W.H. “Pete” Peterson said the preliminary autopsy showed neither evidence of foul play nor an obvious cause of death. A toxicology report will be conducted, but Peterson said that these tests could take a month or longer to complete.
Jones was a member of Kappa Omega Tau fraternity and participated in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program and Baylor Buddies. He is a former member of Student Foundation.
Kappa Omega Tau President and Waco senior Brennan Bailey, who was a pledge brother to Jones, said he and Jones’ other fraternity brothers will remember Jones’ strength, joy and faithfulness to God.
“We watched him in his sufferings with Alopecia, with being blind in one of his eyes and the loss of his grandmother. He was super faithful in the midst of his sufferings. He was known for sharing his story for the benefit of others and the glory of God,” Bailey said.
Jones never knew his father and lost his mother to a drunken driver when he was 11 years old. He also lived with Alopecia Universalis, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss and prevents hair growth, and lost vision in his left eye. Bailey said Jones’ struggles inspired him to embrace hardship.
“His struggles inspired me to embrace trials and consider it a joy, as he did,” Bailey said. “He suffered faithfully, humbly and joyfully just as his Savior did. Daniel’s life is a story God wanted to tell, and I got to view it, be in the audience and learn. He knew God was using his life to tell a story, and he wanted to communicate it earnestly.”
Members of Kappa Omega Tau put together the Daniel Jones Memorial Fund to help Jones’ family with funeral expenses. Since the fund was created Monday morning, the fund has raised more than $4,000.
Jones studied marketing and management and, according to Bailey, had planned to take a joint master of business administration and master of divinity program at Baylor upon graduation. Bailey said Jones had planned to use those degrees to tell others his story and share the gospel.
Though University Chaplain Dr. Burt Burleson didn’t know Jones personally, Burleson was there at the hospital on the day of Jones’ death. He said the number of students in the waiting room showed him and Jones’ family how much he was loved.
“It was moving to see the response from his friends and fellow students at the hospital, not only those in his fraternity but those that had known him in other ways,” Burleson said. “It was a powerful thing for the family to realize how much he had been blessed by his time at Baylor and how much of a blessing he was to others.”
To donate to the memorial fund, visit: https://www.wepay.com/donations/daniel-jones-memorial-fund.