There are a lot of reasons to remember Jamie Samuelson, a pal and co-worker in the radio business.
However, I spent the night thinking of two of his three children that used to come into the studio at 97.1 FM bouncing off the walls and bringing much needed children’s laughter to the building. I loved when they visited their dad when he did his show after I was finished battling with Mike Valenti for four hours.
Jamie died after his 19-month battle with Colon cancer. And even as he left us he was trying to help us telling anybody who would listen to get a potentially life-saving Colonoscopy procedure.
They loved their dad so much. And Jamie got that fatherly twinkle in his eyes when he spoke of them. Caroline is now 16 and Josh 14. I don’t remember Catherine, 11 as well. I just remember the older children holding on to their dad like a Christmas ornament, talking about all the fun things they did and the bed time stories they shared with dad.
Jamie did a lot of incredible things in sports media, but none of them were as important or as impactful as being a great dad. It had to be a punch in the gut for his family. I know it was for me when the bad news was relayed to me.
He kept his diagnosis a secret until last week to protect his children from scrutiny.
“The most emotional moments for me, throughout this entire thing, have been the reality of family,” Samuelsen told The Detroit Free Press.
I never did a full-time show with Jamie at WDFN or 97.1. However, we did off air shows and teased each other. I called him Two, Two because I met him when he was a bright-eyed 22 year old at The Fan. And his email address was JamSam22.
I am sure Jamie loved his wife Christie to the world and back. I am also sure that he fought the good fight for his children. During my illness my kids Celine and Brandon were two of my motivating forces not to give up.
I often lay in bed thinking of soccer road trips, visits to the pumpkin patch, wrapping up together in every pillow and blanket in the house to watch television in the living room and using those same pillow and blankets to build forts in the basement.
I will read with great interest the tributes that will come about Jamie’s career in radio, print and television. He made an impact in sports media. However, I spent the night thinking more about Jamie the dad — a role he played to perfection.
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