Jon, our gentleman rocker who wrote his Wilson school thesis on Guns N’ Roses, then battled multiple myeloma cranking quadrophonic power ballads in hospice, died with the amp still buzzing April 21, 2020, in Solana Beach, Calif.
Jon came to Princeton from Princeton, Hoagie Haven’s menu memorized since childhood, pizza cheesesteak (no. 17) his favorite. He grew up blocks from campus, where father Dwight was an economics professor. Jon’s mother, Annette Williams, penned novels the family inspired. He excelled at tennis at Princeton Day School, and at squash well into college.
Professor Stanley Katz guided Jon’s thesis, “An Evaluation of Warning Labels on Rock and Roll Albums” (mischievous mix tape included), shaping a lifelong love of academic inquiry and arcane discography, if disdain for parental advisories.
As a student he shared Axl Rose’s edgy intensity but not the mop top, maturing into an easygoing professor with James Taylor’s relaxed hairline. Jon coupled his UCLA law degree with a Berkeley Ph.D. in business administration, mentoring a whimsical generation of Golden State MBAs from faculty perches at USC, Pepperdine, and recently Claremont. He never realized his SoCal dream of bringing Hoagie Haven to Abbot Kinney.
Jon is survived by children William and Lucy; his sister, Elizabeth (no. 1, Italian); and grandmother Gertrude, age 102. The Jaffees rock on.