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Jeannette Henney

1918 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Jeannette Henney Obituary
Henney Dr. Jeannette Henney, Ph.D, professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology, matriarch, world traveler, consummate party-thrower and consumer of martinis, died on June 8, 2017 at her son's home in Connecticut. She was 99. Jeannette May Hillman was born on April 15, 1918 in Ambridge, PA. She spent her childhood in Ambridge, Millvale and Dormont, Pennsylvania, until her family moved to Columbus, Ohio, to an apartment on Sheridan Road in Bexley, then a home on Cassingham, and finally to a home on Cambridge Road in Upper Arlington. She attended Bexley schools and Columbus School for Girls, graduating in 1935. In 1939, Jeannette graduated Cum Laude from Ohio State University with a B.A. as well as a B.Sc. in Education. She was a member of OSU's Freshman Scholaris honorary, and a member of Pi Lambda Theta, the national education honorary. Among her proudest achievements were her invitation to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society in 1938, along with her membership to The Ohio State University chapter of the Society of Sigma-Xi which she joined in 1971. On November 12, 1937, Jeannette met Alfred John Henney, a lawyer, at The Players Club, a Columbus community theater, at the first rehearsal of the production of a play entitled Excursion. They were married in Miami on March 25, 1939 and then again in Columbus on April 14 for Alfred's mother. After their first child, Kathleen, was born, Alfred and Jeannette moved to Rio de Janeiro where Alfred was working for the State Department. (All her life thereafter, Jeannette peppered her speech with Portuguese phrases.) The family returned to Columbus where they lived in an apartment in Arlington. They went on to have another daughter, Susan, and a son, Patrick Christopher. Alfred died tragically in a car accident in 1956 and Jeannette became a widow and single mother at age 38. She never remarried as Al remained the love of her life until she died. Jeannette returned to Ohio State and earned her Masters in Anthropology in 1961 and her Ph.D in 1968, after completing field work on spirit possession belief and trance behavior in a religious group in St. Vincent, British West Indies. She is the author, with Felicitas D. Goodman, and Esther Pressel, of the 1974 book Trance, Healing and Hallucination. Dr. Henney taught Sociology and Anthropology at Capital University from 1969 to 1989, earning the Praestantia Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1982. She was inducted into Capital University's Professors Hall of Honor in 2011. In March of 1946, Jeannette became one of the first members of The Columbus Childhood League, whose purpose at that time (in her words) was "to provide day care for qualifying working mothers". She became and stayed friends for life with many of the original members, and was still active in the organization until very recently. She also was a member at Scioto Country Club and the Columbus Athletic Club for many years. Starting in the 1980's, Jeannette, a.k.a. Mom, A.J., Mum, Granny, and Bummy, threw a fabulous party every 5 years, attended by her family and friends, one year even by a man in a gorilla suit. Jeannette traveled extensively in the last half of her life; to Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, Spain, Tahiti, Germany, London, and in more recent years, back and forth from Columbus to New York City where she kept the apartment below her son's on the Upper West Side. She took up Hebrew in her eighties, she studied piano and computer, she texted, she was an avid reader and book club member, she played Texas Hold 'Em with family even as her eyesight was failing, and she officiated at her granddaughter's wedding in 2012. Jeannette absolutely loved being together with all of her family and made sure that she always shared as much time as she could with every one as much as possible. She is survived by her sister, Marguerite Hillman Beam; her three children, Kathleen Henney Lacey, Susan Henney Voss, and Patrick Christopher Henney; two sons-in-law, Dr. Stephen Lacey and Richard Voss; and a daughter-in-law, Martha Leuze Henney; eight grandchildren, Susan Lacey Antonelli, Maggie Lacey, Elizabeth Lacey , Charles Voss, Kathleen Voss Shriver, Elizabeth Henney, Katharine Henney Cuomo, and Patrick O'Neil Henney; a niece, Molly Foulks; and a nephew, Michael Beam; one grandniece and three grandnephews, 12 great-grandchildren and two great-grandnephews. Friends may call this Saturday, June 17 from 10-11 a.m. at SCHOEDINGER MIDTOWN CHAPEL, 229 East State St., Columbus, OH 43215. Service begins at 11 a.m. followed by interment at St. Joseph Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Columbus Childhood League, 674 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215. Visit www.schoedinger.com to share a fond memory or condolence.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from June 15 to June 16, 2017
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