Dr. Janice Elaine Stott Henke

Argyle, New York – Janice Elaine Stott Henke died very peacefully on Sunday, July 17, 2022, on a sunny morning in the home she helped build and in the presence of her husband of 56 years. She was two weeks away from her 82nd birthday.

Born on Aug. 8, 1940, to Earl Stott and Caroline Harris Stott, some of her fondest memories were of the family farm on Hendee Road following her beloved Uncle Roy Harris around doing the farm chores. A central point of her teenage years was working with the palominos at Pleasant View Farm in Argyle. She did everything equestrian from jumping to dressage to pole bending to barrel racing. She even tried her hand at polo. It was at Pleasant View that she met Bob, their first words being a slight dispute over the way he was cleaning her horse’s foot. She decided he needed training himself and his fate was sealed.

Janice graduated from Hudson Falls High School and attended Harpur College (now SUNY Binghamton.) When the family faced financial crisis, she left school to help. She worked in the records room at Glens Falls Hospital with her great friend, Louise McGeough Shapiro. Louise was the one who suggested she go check out that guy tending the animals, leading to the horse foot argument leading to 56 years of enduring love. She wanted to make sure Louise knew how much she was appreciated.

After several years supporting the family, Janice returned to what was now SUNY Binghamton where she got her BA degree in anthropology. She and Bob were married in the fall of 1966 and Janice was accepted into the PhD program at SUNY Buffalo. She and Bob were in the graduate program together, both getting their master’s degrees and working in the doctoral program. This was interrupted in 1972 when, with the impending birth of their second daughter, they were asked to leave because having children was deemed not compatible with serious research.

They returned home, and Bob became an Environmental Conservation Officer – a lifestyle, not a profession – and Janice was his partner throughout. Whether it was answering the state phone, caring for orphaned and injured animals, feeding groups of hungry ECOs at 2 a.m., or blocking the road to apprehend someone who had just shot at the house, she was an integral partner in this life. She was a founder and long-time president of the NYS Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and raised many thousands of baby animals over the course of 30 years. Pets were cherished as well, whether they were the myriad cats, ubiquitous chickens or beloved Irish setters, Plott hounds and other assorted dogs. The current dog Clyde misses her greatly.

Janice became interested in the harp seal hunt, worked with the biologists doing tagging studies on the ice in Newfoundland, studying the protesters as well as the fishermen and ultimately writing a book entitled “Seal Wars” that was used as a text by a number of colleges. Her interest shifted from seals to whales, and she traveled extensively for this research. She returned to the doctoral program compiling the years of research into a seminal dissertation and received her PhD from the University of Buffalo at age 65. She worked for groups as diverse as the National Trappers Association, International Wildlife Consortium, NYSDEC and International Whaling Association as well as operating her own consulting firm, Henke and Associates, Ltd. Janice travelled the globe, circling it at least six times. She was on every continent of this world, including Antarctica, where she spent two months trapped in the ice on a research vessel. She was utterly fearless.

Janice’s biggest desire was to have strong roots, and she found them in Argyle. She and Bob built the log house she always wanted, and she was determined to never live anywhere else again. Her love of family was paramount and supporting her children throughout their lives was her strong suit. There was no greater font of love, guidance and forgiveness. For the last 10 years as Parkinson’s disease sapped her abilities, she and Bob were together continuously. They went to breakfast nearly every morning and went to look for the sunset every single evening for 20 years, including the evening before her death. She also wanted to make sure her granddaughter Rebecca knew how much her help was appreciated during the past few challenging years. It made many things possible that might not have been otherwise, including continuing to operate the bee booth at the Washington County Fair. Janice dedicated three decades to the fair booth and loved every minute. Her skills as an artist were displayed in the fair booth, and it appears Rebecca will continue them.

Janice leaves behind three children, Jennifer Bushway, Janet Dandrow (Rob) and Robert Henke (Dina), and seven grandchildren, Rebecca Bushway, Joey Bushway, Kevin Dandrow, Jessica Dandrow, Jake Dandrow, Robert Henke and Henry Henke. She was immensely proud and pleased with them. Also left to grieve her are three half-brothers, John, Ben and Gordon Stott and a great number of nieces and nephews. She also has one impending great-grandchild she will be disappointed to miss meeting.

Finally, Janice also leaves behind her true lifemate, Bob. In the nearly 60 years’ total time together, they never once said “Goodbye.” For better or worse, in sickness or in health, in harmony or argument, every leave-taking, ending phone conversation or last comment before sleep was a single word: “Love.” It was also the last word they spoke to each other.

Donations in Janice’s name may be sent to the Argyle Youth Commission, Argyle Free Library, or Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Janice was an organ donor and, when this process is completed, a celebration of her life will be held.