David K. Jones of Milton passed away at age 40 on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. He was a devoted husband and father of three children, a beloved teacher and a writer who dedicated his work to health justice. His death has left a void for his family and community that cannot be filled.
David threw his whole heart into whatever he pursued, letting his passion lead the way followed closely by the hard work he applied to bring his efforts to fruition.
He cared deeply about the ways in which public health intersects with social justice and worked tirelessly to reach a better understanding of the hardships others face. He had an utterly magnetic personality and an irresistibly contagious laugh, leading others to seek him out for conversations touching on family, music, teaching or running. His sense of humor could switch from dry wit to disarmingly silly in an instant, with the latter particularly present around his children.
David was the ultimate fun dad and fostered for his children indelible experiences of travel throughout the US and overseas, hikes through breathtaking landscapes across the northeast, visits to art galleries around the world, and the excitement of cheering on his favorite teams: the New York Yankees and Liverpool Football Club. He sang the Liverpool anthem to his children each night.
He was a lifelong lover of music — listening to it and performing it himself. He played the clarinet, guitar, bass guitar and saxophone and had many gigs within the New York City music scene in his younger years. He displayed keen interest and respect for whatever obscure music friends threw at him, readily accepting invitations to go see live shows and trading music discoveries. He sought to experience as many live performances by his favorite band, Phish, as physically possible, oftentimes finding creative ways to coincide his research with concerts. He attended at least 78 of their performances in person, dating back to 1999.
David’s work as Associate Professor of Health Policy and Law at Boston University encapsulated his profound desire for all people to reach their full potential and his belief that health equity is a fundamental right. His ardent focus on eradicating inequities of all kinds was the guiding star of his research and publications.
At the time of his death, David was writing a book on public health in the Mississippi Delta region as the culmination of years of hands-on research there.
“I came to better understand that racism is more than bad people intentionally harming someone else they view as inferior,” he wrote. “It can take that form, but it is also people — sometimes including me — who believe they are not racist but who are unable to acknowledge or unwilling to change the systems that structurally benefit them while disadvantaging entire groups. The more time I spent in Mississippi the more I was able to see the same inequities and racism in my own community.”
His research spurred a passion for bettering his local community as a steering committee member of the Milton Anti-Racist Coalition. In that role and throughout his life, he loved to have deep conversations where he would listen intently to the perspectives of others.
But above all, David was dedicated to becoming the best father and husband he possibly could be. His family was everything to him, and he constantly evaluated and reevaluated his actions and decisions in his aim of providing a stable and loving home alongside the love of his life, Sarah.
David was the beloved husband of Sarah Sacuto and father of Olivia, Anne and Thomas Jones. He was the son of Jeffrey Jones of North Carolina, and of Debra Bingham and her husband Kent Hamilton of Milton. He was the grandson of Bernice Bingham of Utah, and of Kline Jones of Utah. David was the brother of Tara Steenson of Idaho, Lauren Hamilton Sweeney of Texas, and Tiffany Hamilton of Texas. David is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
David was born in Provo, Utah and raised in Washington Heights, New York. He received his Bachelor of Arts at McGill University, his Master of Science in Public Health from The University of North Carolina, and his Master of Arts in Political Science and doctorate in Health Services, Organization & Policy from the University of Michigan. His career highlights include his students awarding him twice with the Excellence in Teaching Award at Boston University, his work being published in top tier peer-reviewed journals, the publication of his first book, “Exchange Politics: Opposing Obamacare in Battleground States,” and — last but not least — working as a food vendor at Yankee Stadium at age 18.
A public viewing will be held at the Alfred D. Thomas Funeral Home 326 Granite Ave Milton from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19. A virtual and in-person memorial service will be held at Boston University School of Public Health from 3-5 p.m. on Sept. 23. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a fund for David’s children at https://gofund.me/4149b9c0.
To send flowers to David's family, please visit our floral store.