Losing a friend: Social media reacts to death of Jeff Jeffers

Published: Mar. 26, 2017 at 12:48 PM EDT
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To describe Jeff Jeffers in 140 characters or fewer is nearly impossible. Nonetheless, people, ranging from former colleagues to famed sports figures, are expressing their condolences, via Twitter, about the late "Dean of Local Sports."

WNDU Sports Director Angelo DiCarlo wrote:

"What I would give to hear, 'I'm Jeff Jeffers' 1 more time When it comes to local sports TV, you were the G.O.A.T. Rest In Peace my friend."

Terry McFadden, WNDU Evening Co-Anchor, recalled:

"Xmas Eve will never be the same. A Big Elf named Jeff Jeffers will no longer show up at my house with Holy Water. RIP."

WHME Sports Director Chuck Freeby tweeted:

"I am deeply saddened at the death of @WNDU legend Jeff Jeffers. No words can express the love for him and his family. Eternal rest, JJ."

NBC's Anne Thompson, a former WNDU anchor and reporter, lamented:

"Can't believe this. Jeff was a wonderful friend and colleague. Loved seeing him on the sidelines. May the angels welcome Jeff."

Jack Nolan, a former WNDU journalist and current voice for Notre Dame Men's Basketball, wrote:

"Just received word that my longtime colleague@ WNDU Jeff Jeffers passed away peacefully this am surrounded by family. When I arrived @WNDU in '82, Jeff Jeffers enthusiastically welcomed me, inviting me to stay with him and Bill the house they called "Little House on the Prairie" just off Douglas Road. Jeff then personally took me to meet all the coaches at ND including Gerry Faust, Digger Phelps and Lefty Smith. This warm welcome helped a 22 yr old outwardly confident but inwardly awed by ND sportscaster get off to a solid start at WNDU. I remain grateful to Jeff to this day for that wonderful welcome. He deserved better these last few years. I am glad he is now at peace."

Don Criqui, ND IMG Sports Network Radio broadcaster, made a call to the station saying:

"Every time Jeff reported on the Irish, it came from the heart. A pro's pro who lived his job. His great family and Notre Dame lost a great one. Jeff made flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

Jeff Jeffers earned a Master's Degree along with an Honorary Monogram from the University of Notre Dame. He effused love for Fighting Irish athletics, covering hundreds of games worldwide. University figures also shared their thoughts on Twitter.

Former Men's Head Basketball Coach Digger Phelps said: "My friend Jeff was more than sports. He was a true Notre Dame man. His love for ND is why he never left. His legacy will be missed. RIP Dean."

Rod Balanis, the Assoc.Men's Head Basketball Coach, wrote: "The 'Dean' of local sports made a long-lasting impact on Michiana. He will truly be missed. Thank you, Jeff."

Notre Dame Athletics tweeted: "To The Dean of Local Sports, Thank you for all you've done for our University. Rest in Peace, Jeff Jeffers."

ESPN's Mike Golic said: "Very sad to hear of the passing of local sports icon Jeff Jeffers, covered South Bend and ND sports for 40+yrs, such a nice man..RIP Jeff."

Jeff was not only fond of sports, but the players he reported on.

Former Notre Dame quarterback and NFL player Brady Quinn wrote on Twitter: "Thoughts and prayers with the Jeffers family & @WNDU. Jeff was a special man. His passion for @NDFootball was unmatched. Rest In Peace."

Former Notre Dame offensive tackle and NFL player Ryan Harris wrote on Twitter: "Jeff Jeffers was a Pros pro. Great human being. Rest In Peace brotha. Go Irish."

Not only did Jeff love the Irish, he loved Michiana. That's part of the reason he never left the area.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg wrote on Twitter: "South Bend salutes and mourns Jeff Jeffers, not only a beloved sportscaster but a great citizen and member of our community."

Mike Lightfoot, the head men's basketball coach at Bethel College, said: "The 'Dean' of local sports made a long-lasting impact on Michiana. He will truly be missed. Thank you, Jeff."

Jeff impacted fellow sports journalists. They tweeted their sentiments, as well:

David Haugh, Chicago Tribune sports columnist, expressed: "Condolences to his family, and the WNDU family. He loved his job, had a passion for Notre Dame, and made his mark on Michiana. RIP, Jeff."

Michael Rothstein, ESPN NFL Nation reporter, said: "RIP to a South Bend icon who always took time to chat when I was a young guy at ND. He knew everyone. More impressive everyone respected him."

Chuck Swirsky, radio announcer for the Chicago Bulls, wrote: "The Chicago/ Midwest sports landscape lost 3 iconic figures in Mr. Krause, Green and Jeff Jeffers South Bend TV) RIP."

Broadcaster Darin Pritchett said: "My condolences to Jeff's family and to everyone at WNDU that worked with him."

Meanwhile, Jordan Cornette, of Campus Insiders, tweeted: "His name. Synonymous not only w/ND, but the city of South Bend. He was an institution, more than that-a kind man. Jeff Jeffers rest in peace."

Eddie White, the host of Indiana Pacers Overtime, wrote on Twitter: "Still shocked over news that we lost longtime voice of @NotreDame Jeff Jeffers!he truly loved the school of Our Lady!"

Jeff Jeffers was 64.

Funeral arrangements were announced Monday morning. The visitation will be held on Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. at McGann Hay Granger Chapel.

The Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend.

If you would like to make a donation in Jeff's honor, two options are available. You can donate to the Jeffers Children's Educational Fund at any Notre Dame Federal Credit Union location, or you can donate to Heartland Hospice at 230 West Catalpa in Mishawaka.

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