Michael Todd Jones, age 51, of Gregory, Michigan passed away unexpectedly on Monday, April 8, 2019 at his home. He leaves behind his loving wife Christene (Schlupe) Jones and sons Wesley Robert and Ethan Michael. Mike was born in Southfield, Michigan on September 5, 1967 to parents Merton (Bud) and Judith (Lange) Jones, both of whom survive. On September 30, 1995 he married the love of his life, and Mike and Chris set up their home in Gregory. Mike is also survived by his in-laws Skip and Sally Schlupe, his brother Wesley (Lori) Jones, and sister-in-law Becky (Jeff) McEldery; nieces and nephews Olivia and Anna McEldery, and Blake, Taylor, Sydney, Peyton and Griffin Jones; as well as several aunts and uncles and many special friends.
You’d think a man with the name of Mike Jones would be ordinary. Our Mike Jones was anything but ordinary. He was a husband and father who was madly in love with his wife and boys. Mike held a Master of Fine Arts from Michigan State University (1993), and proudly wore his green and white. He was an incredibly talented, self-employed figurative sculptor. When Wes was born, Mike chose to be a stay-at-home dad and taught himself to cook, providing fantastic meals for his family. He was always around for his boys, filling their days with adventure, fun and laughter, including laughing contests when they were young. Mike was very proud of his boys and was involved in everything they did. He was an assistant den leader for Cub Scouts, a soccer coach, and volunteered many hours to support the Town Hall Players. He loved watching his boys play soccer, welcomed all of their friends to the Jones household, and truly enjoyed interacting with all of the kids. He built a studio and a garage, and put an addition on the house to make space for his growing family, and completed most of the work himself, with the help of friends and family.
Mike loved traveling, reading, playing guitar, listening to music, socializing, and hiking. He had a wealth of knowledge about art, music, American history, politics, the space program, movies, The Lord of the Rings books, and countless other topics. He was a walking encyclopedia, and everyone wanted to be on his team for a game of Trivial Pursuit. Mike was always ready with quotes from movies and song lyrics. Mike was a musician who loved sharing music with others; he particularly enjoyed The Beatles and Bob Seger. He loved playing guitar and pulling people in for some strumming on the porch. He passed his love of music, art, cooking, and nature to his boys, as well as his quick sense of humor, kindness and charm.
Mike loved people and saw the best in everyone. Mike was unbelievably generous. He spent as much time as possible with his family and friends, and had a way of making everyone feel like they were his best friend. He cared deeply for his friends and was quick to call them for a chat, and loved to tease people. He always had time for everyone – family, friends, neighbors, and people he didn’t yet know. He was very giving of himself and his time, taking care of those around him. Mike found amusement in nearly every situation. He was quick with a joke (usually good ones, often including characteristically colorful language) and a teller of tales. He was creative with elaborations and often said his job was to entertain his wife. “Fun is the best thing you can have.”
We love you and will miss you terribly, Michael. We were all so lucky to have had you in our lives.
An open house celebrating Mike’s life will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2019, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm at Staffan-Mitchell Funeral Home in Chelsea. Contributions may be made to a fund for Wesley and Ethan.