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Humphrey George Petersen-Jones

July 23, 1992 ~ July 10, 2021 (age 28) 28 Years Old


It is with deep and immense sadness that we mourn the passing of Humphrey George Petersen-Jones, on Saturday, July 10th, 2021, at the age of 28. He was a beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend.

Humphrey was born in London, U.K. on July 23, 1992, and lived in Edinburgh and Cambridge until 1998 when the family moved to Michigan, U.S.A.

After excelling in high school and graduating from Okemos High School in May 2010, he went on to complete two concurrent undergraduate degrees in neuroscience and physiology from Michigan State University. He was working toward obtaining his MD/PhD from the University of Colorado Denver.

Humphrey was deeply interested in the world around him and how it worked. His knowledge about the brain resulted in numerous long and enlightening discussions with so many of us. He was able to speak to someone for the first time as if they were an old friend, and he always tried to make people smile. Although his humour was often mischievous, he had wisdom beyond his years, and was a very philosophical and reflective person. Humphrey loved skiing, playing games with family and friends, hiking, and being with his loved ones. He loved to travel and learn about the world, and studied abroad in the UK during his undergraduate degree. He was passionate, witty, supportive, and determined to live life to the fullest.

Humphrey will be lovingly remembered for always by his parents Simon and Bryden, his siblings Duncan and Jessica, and their partners Stefanie and Ben, his aunts and uncle Richard, Fiona and Pamela, his cousins Damian, Robert, Hallie and Tiffany, their spouses Karen, Michelle, Declan, and their children, Juniper, Luciana, Griffin, Theodore and Samir; and so many friends from Michigan, Colorado and around the world. His huge smile will be so dearly missed by us all.

Celebration of Life Service will be held on Thursday 22nd, July at 10:30am " Please note for those who are wanting to join us for the service who are coming in from other states or who wish to watch the live streaming of the Service  that the time is Mountain Standard Time " 

This Service will be livestreamed. 

Please click on the link below from 10:25am on the 22nd July to watch the livestreaming


The family invites you in supporting neuroscience research to Humphrey Petersen-Jones’ memorial website.

Please click on the link below if you wish to make a contribution



The Obituary below has been written by members of the MSU Rowing Crew


In loving memory of our dearest friend, Humphrey George Petersen-Jones (1992- 2021).

Humphrey, you were family to so many of us. Your smile and laugh lit up every room you ever walked into. The world has truly lost one of its brightest stars with your passing. We love you dearly and will miss you forever.

As MSU Crew, although we transcend multiple generations, we all have several commonalities.

First, we share one rowing family. A family we chose to belong to… one that shared victorious triumph and crushing defeat, along with all the blood, sweat, and tears that goes with it. I believe this forms an unbreakable bond. Therefore, it is with deepest sadness and condolences, I share with you all that on 7/10/21 we lost a member of our family, Humphrey George Petersen-Jones (1992-2021 [2013-2015]).

Anyone that knew Humphrey in his short but well-lived life has extremely fond memories of his upbeat personality. Whether cracking terrible dad jokes from the bow, sending ridiculous memes that would drop you to the floor in laughter, or sharing deep and meaningful conversations with him. Some may also remember such antics as being told "it smells like a campfire in here" and foolishly taking a big whiff only to find disgust one too many times, the classic “what’s that on your shirt” trick, or double checking behind you every time you took a photo with him to make sure there were no “bunny ears” being thrown up behind you. He was a joy of a person, spreading love and good vibes everywhere he went.

As you all know, a deep level of passion is required in rowing to drag yourself out of bed at 5 am to freeze to death on the dark cold water. His deeply passionate nature did not stop there though; he was driven to put as much good and laughter back into the world as possible. This is demonstrated to us by his time leading the crew team as a captain, volunteering at a suicide prevention hotline, his choice of pursuing one of the most challenging careers as a physician-scientist, and so much more.

Humphrey was a world traveler and adventurer. As a triple citizen he spent much of his time in the UK or visiting family across the globe including Australia. He started rowing in the UK during a study abroad his freshman year of college. He loved it so deeply that he continued by joining us at MSU. I remember meeting Humphrey at a crew recruitment meeting. He walked straight up to me extending his hand and with a giant smile on his face said "I'm Humphrey Petersen-Jones and I'm really excited to meet you! I think you will love rowing." We have all met thousands of, if not more, people in our lives. To this day, I have never experienced someone as genuine, enthusiastic, and full of life and love as Humphrey. He was correct in his assumption that I would love rowing, and during our crew career he and I shared that love, rowing together in many boats. His drive and motivation had him quickly ascending ranks to the top varsity boat, competing in some of the largest regattas in the country. His adventures did not stop there though he also went skydiving, completed a rowing marathon, and a tough-mudder competition.

As an adult, he settled in Denver, Colorado. He loved spending the weekends skiing the slopes, or hiking in the mountains with his friends. He summited many "14ers" (14,000 feet elevation) and even literally dragged me, huffing and puffing, up one. He never overlooked the little pleasures in life. As we were climbing, every few minutes he would make us take “an appreciation break". Together we would look out over the vast landscape and appreciate the beauty of our world. I will forever remember these moments with him. (I invite you all to please share an appreciation break with us now: taken from the base of Mount Bierstadt).

Rowing requires the ability to push past mental and physical barriers, to a place others may not have thought possible. Humphrey demonstrated this perseverance every day. In his life, he suffered significant trauma and adversity. However, Humphrey had the type of personality that helped him take devastating hits and always look for the silver lining. This is one of the qualities I have always admired most about Humphrey. Good or bad, everything was a learning experience, and you would always walk away from a conversation, or after sharing a hardship with him, with a fresh and positive perspective.

Over the years he battled with mental health (following a traumatic brain injury in which he lost part of his right frontal lobe) while pursuing an 8+ year career path that would allow him to "pay the goodness forward". I am incredibly proud to say that he achieved over a year sober, and almost a year seizure free prior to passing. To commemorate his first year of sobriety, his grandmother Maisie gave him a homemade silver bead for his necklace. He wore that pendant proudly. Personally, I viewed it as a testament to what can be accomplished with true dedication and perseverance. He was also so excited to soon be able to get his driver’s license back at the year mark of being seizure free and have the freedom to return to the mountains he loved.

Humphrey was an incredible person, taking it upon himself to brighten every room he walked into. Anyone that had the privilege of knowing him understands exactly what I mean. He was always the first to offer support or assistance with any task that needed doing. He truly went above and beyond as a family member and friend every day he was on this planet. Our hearts and deepest condolences go out to his family and all of you...his friends.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate you all.

Written by: Ryan Crane (2013-2016)
Edited by: Michael O'Keefe (2012-2016) & Leslee Ball

(… Humphrey, I have looked up to you since the day we first met. Your shining personality has inspired me in so many ways and will continue to for the rest of my life. I love you brother and will miss you always).


On a final note… Depression and suicide are incredibly real problems in our world. If you, or someone you know is feeling down, depressed, or hopeless... please don’t wait to seek assistance (800-273-8255 [national suicide prevention hotline]). I am also available if anyone needs/wants to chat. (231-631-3470) [Ryan]).


The family invites you in supporting neuroscience research to Humphrey Petersen-Jones’ memorial website.

Please click on the link below if you wish to make a contribution



P.S. We added a couple videos/photos to give you a little glimpse or reminisce about how Humphrey viewed the experience of rowing and life. The second video is just because his laugh is absolutely infectious, and we wanted you all to hear it again.



Celebration of Life
July 22, 2021

10:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Horan & McConaty Family Chapel
11150 E. Dartmouth Ave
Aurora, Colorado 80014


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