How do you find the words to describe a man like Daddy Jeff Henness? Caring, Teacher, Mentor, Kinkster, Leathermen, instigator, and historian are all just a few words we have heard in the past 24 hours from the community as they pour their hearts out at this loss. These words all can be summed up by one word, Daddy. Daddy truly does fit him as he really was a father figure for the community always making sure it is taken care of and everyone has a space and a voice.
The puppy community is in great debt to this ongoing support. Daddy Jeff had been there supporting the puppy and furry community long before SEA-PAH was formed. Daddy and his partner Puppy, have made sure we had space for our moshes, socials, events, and contests. He supported us as the owner of Dog House Leathers, donating so many items for our raffles and other events over the 9 years SEA-PAH has been around.
Daddy Jeff was a man of action. He made the changes that he wanted to see happen. His words and deeds will live on forever through the lives of everyone who has the pleasure to meet him.
People like Daddy Jeff are rare. Cherish every moment you can and tell them you love them at every experience.
The Seattle Pups and Handlers
A few board members wanted to share some of their experiences. Please feel free to share your memories as well.
I remember fondly the first time I met Daddy Jeff one evening at the Cuff - inside the closet that was then called Doghouse Leathers. Meeting him and talking, I felt for the first time like I was a part of the greater community in Seattle. It was then and there that I bought my first piece of leather and a new interest was born. He and I discussed so many things that night, including my interest in puppy play - which seemed to perk his interests. Later on, he became a dear friend and mentor. He introduced me to so many people and organizations - in fact, some of my very best friends. He spoke often of the community, it's history, it's present state, and what he saw in it's future. And most of all - he inspired me.
Daddy Jeff was always there for SEA-PAH and for NW-PAH. He helped with organizing, producing events, and with support in many forms. His heart truly was in the community and for the community and it showed. Rest in peace, Daddy Jeff - and thank you.
I met Daddy Jeff at the first Northwest Puppy event, he was stoic and Old Guard, but knew how to work a room. He was quick to offer a handshake and I've had the great opportunity to know him ever since. Daddy Jeff was a Leatherman through and through, even as he was battling his ailments, his eyes always lit up when we'd talk about community, Leather, and especially joyous when he saw the many craftsmen around him working and honing Leather. I will miss our long conversations, the giddy excitement that he'd always exude. Daddy Jeff, Thank you for everything you've done, every time you were my shoulder to cry on, and the firm hand when I needed to pull my own head out of my ass. I'll miss you, but will see each other again on the other side.
I had the honor of being one of the few women Daddy Jeff personally invited to the SML holiday party. He welcomed me with open arms and was so excited when I finally turned up. I remember him always knowing my name and making a point of speaking with me at events. He was a wonderful man and always seemed to understand the growing and changing nature of the queer community and the Seattle leather community. I have learned so much from him and the people he taught. The knowledge, skill, and care he passed down will continue to have a life of their own.
When I first moved to Seattle in 2003 I didn’t know many folks. I met Daddy Jeff one night at The Cuff when I was taking care of a friend who had a little bit too much to drink. Daddy Jeff walked into the bathroom while my friend was not having a good time. Here was this tall man, dark eyes and gruff look on his face. “Fuck we are being kicked out” ran through my head. But that was not the case a soft loving voice asked if we where ok. Daddy went and grabbed a few bottles of water for my friend and stayed with us to make sure we where ok.
From that point forward I always looked forward to seeing Daddy Jeff every night we went to the cuff. He always loved to chat about the community and its rich history. Daddy Jeff took me under his wing and made Seattle really feel like home. He introduced me to so many organizations and always encouraged me to be the best version of myself.
My heart is broken. I feel like I’m going to be lost with out you but I know that is not the case. Your words and teachings will be with me for ever. Thank you for showing me the way.
Passing of Daddy Jeff, Owner of Doghouse Leathers