Josephine Henke

Josephine Jaffray Henke

Saturday, November 12th, 1966 - Wednesday, November 25th, 2020
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Josephine Jaffray “JJ” Henke, 54, of St. Joseph, passed away on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, MI. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA, 3665 Hollywood Rd., St. Joseph or Humane Society of Southwest Michigan, 5400 S Niles Rd, St Joseph, MI 49085. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at

JJ was born on November 12, 1966, in Seattle, WA, to Joseph & Lydia (Bayne) Henke. In 1984, she graduated from the Urban School of San Francisco and continued her education by earning her Bachelor’s degree from Smith College in 1989 and a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Indiana University. On August 21, 1993, JJ married the love of her life, Stephen Allen, in Essex, NY. For nearly 15 years, JJ worked as a librarian at Lincoln Township Library. After leaving the library, she began doing free-lance editing while also taking computer and business classes at Lake Michigan College. JJ loved reading, knitting and spending time tending to her garden.

JJ is survived by her father, Joseph Henke; step-mother, Julie Speidel; step-father, Roger Simon; loving husband of 27 years, Stephen; sister, Susanna Henke; niece, Lucie Grout; nephew, Silas Grout; several step-siblings; and numerous cousins. She was preceded in death by her mother, Lydia.
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Service Details

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to: Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA, 3665 Hollywood Rd., St. Joseph or Humane Society of Southwest Michigan, 5400 S Niles Rd, St Joseph, MI 49085.


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Carol Reigle

Posted at 12:28pm
The Friends of the Lincoln Township Library send condolences to JJ's family. There are many fond memories of JJ assisting at the Reference Desk when she worked at the Library. Peace to her family.

Kim D'Agostino

Posted at 07:33am
thoughts and prayers to the family. We will miss joe deeply, such an amazing lady with many talents. Will miss our friday coffee dates along wirh the many stories she would tell us. It's like we knew her whole family and kitties. Love kim and nino.

Cheryl Glowacki

Posted at 06:08pm
JJ was one of a kind .. one of the most genuine people I knew.. she was a free spirit yet cared deeply for others .. my mother included. She and Stephen were true soulmates .. their devotion and love for one another was evident. Stephen, I’m so very sorry for your loss .. I feel I’m a better person for having come to know you both . I can’t say enough good things about JJ. Anyone who knew her would agree. She left her mark on this world. Yes .. she will be greatly missed.

Carlisle, Kiwi Posted at 08:16pm

We met on LiveJournal so long ago I can’t remember the date, and continued to be friends online until her illness. I will miss her humor, her insight, her kittyness.

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