February 13, 1988 - February 10, 2018
Jonathan Stewart Grey
February 13, 1988 to February 10, 2018
Memorial service to be held Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 1-4p at Mellinger Mennonite Church 1916 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, Pa 17602.02
Jonathan “Jon” Stewart Grey, 29, passed away suddenly on February 10, 2018 after a short but incredible life.
Jon was born February 13, 1988, 2 minutes after his twin brother, and best friend, Matthew Grey in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Jonathan was a fierce and honest competitor. He always strived for faster, and stronger, and pushed the limits of himself and the others around him. He was the first to take the lead in a race, even when his coaches counseled patience, and so that the only people who would beat him earned every step of their race. Jonathan was a reliable teammate and friend, always being there whenever anyone asked for help. He was always up front about his performances and took full responsibility for anything in his life, good or bad. But he was so much more than just a runner; he was a wonderful, loving son who called home just to say hey or I love you; he supported his little brother, Cory aka squirrel bait, and became his biggest protector. He often showed up at his aunt Kathy’s or grandparents’ house just to hang out and loved his twin brother, Matthew, more than he loved himself. They were inseparable from birth, true partners in crime in their youth. He was loved by all he met, and left behind
Jon was born 3 months early in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 13, 1988. He arrived 2 minutes after his twin brother Matthew. He and his family then moved to Pennsylvania where he began his running career at Kennard-Dale high school, running cross country and track. Jon was one of the best runners to come out of York County setting the York-Adams League Track Championships record in the 3,200 with a time of 9 minutes and 21.1 seconds. He also claimed the Y-A title and an eighth-place finish at the Pennsylvania state meet. But these performances were just a hint of what was to come. He first attended the University of Oklahoma and then transferred to the College of William and Mary where he earned three All-American honors in cross country, indoor 5000 and outdoor track while running in six NCAA championships. He placed 17th at the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Championships and fifth in the 5000 meters at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. In his last season in a William & Mary uniform, Jon overcame a labral tear to qualify yet again for the Outdoor NCAA Championships in a testament to his mental toughness and ambitious nature.
Following college, he became a professional runner for Adidas with Boulder Track Club coached by Lee Troop after running 2 years with Team USA Minnesota. Jonathan was a 2016 Olympic marathon trials qualifier where he placed 35th in the heat of Los Angeles. He also placed 9th in the 2016 USA Track and Field Olympic 10k trials race where he just missed being an alternate for the Olympic team. In perhaps his most impressive performance, Jon broke the 28:00 minute barrier for 10,000m at the Stanford Invitational running 27:59.88. He won the 2011 USA Track and Field Club National Cross Country Championships. He was also a Team USA representative at the 2012 and 2015 Great Edinburgh Cross Country and the Pan-American Cross-Country Championships in 2015.
Jonathan is survived by his twin brother Matthew, his mom Suzanne Grey Wirtz, his dad Kenneth W. Wirtz Jr., his youngest brother Cory, grandparents Elizabeth and Stewart Grey, step grandparents Delores and Kenneth Wirtz Sr, and numerous loving aunts, uncles, and cousins.