During his four years at Baylor University, Daniel Jones spent some time nearly every day with fraternity brother and former roommate Randall Fowler of Abilene, Fowler said Tuesday.Mr. Jones had a ready smile and gregarious nature. The 23-year-old senior from North Richland Hills was also known for his positive outlook on life, despite being orphaned as a boy and losing his hair to a rare medical condition.Mr. Jones died Saturday after nearly completing a half-marathon in Waco to help raise scholarship funds for fellow students.Since then, Fowler said, social media have swelled with thoughts and stories about Jones, who was set to graduate in May."Daniel and I spent nearly every day together," said Fowler, who has already graduated, "but a lot of people were posting on Facebook who I've never even heard of."He knew a ton of people, but it didn't seem like he had to stretch himself."Mr. Jones was 11 when his mother was killed by a drunken driver. His father had also died, and in recent years his grandparents, who raised him, died.Mr. Jones had to live with narcolepsy, which caused daytime sleepiness, and alopecia universalis, a medical condition that, when he was a boy, took all of his hair, even eyebrows and eyelashes.Mr. Jones, nevertheless, immersed himself in campus organizations such as Baylor Buddies, the Kappa Omega Tau fraternity and the Student Foundation, which was the recipient of money raised by the Bearathon on Saturday. He was a marketing and management major."Daniel really was a fun person to be around," Fowler said.He also loved Baylor sports and Rangers baseball.Mr. Jones collapsed near the end of the Bearathon and died later at a Waco hospital.Despite his medical issues, Jones seemed to be in good health, Fowler said. A preliminary autopsy gave no hint of what claimed his life, and more tests will take weeks to complete, officials said.Survivors include a brother, Derek Jones, and aunts and uncles.Bill Miller, 817-390-7684Twitter: @Bill_MillerST
11 a.m. Thursday at LIFE Church, 7850 Davis Blvd., North Richland Hills.
Information on scholarship funds in memory of Daniel Jones and a fund to help defray funeral expenses is available at https://www.wepay.com/donations/daniel-jones-memorial-fund.