Penny Huff died peacefully at home Monday evening as her indomitable heart beat on for several moments longer in a vain effort to overcome the cancer she had fought for two years. She was 64.
She was born in Ohio and moved frequently early on as her father was an itinerant radio DJ and early televison personality. Growing up in West Chop, she had a storied adolescence, broke ground as the first female karate black belt on-Island, started a family and moved to Gay Head in the early 1980s.
A familiar figure at the shops at the cliffs, she especially enjoyed the interaction of the foreign and the familiar who people the place. A musician who brought a precise but inclusive feeling to the music she shared with those privileged to play with her, she most enjoyed the “family jams” that holidays would allow with her particularly talented but somewhat dispersed family. She achieved a sixth degree black belt and will be buried in her gi.
She is survived by her four children, Maya Glavin, James Glavin, Michael Farley Glavin and Celeste Glavin; her husband, Jim Glavin; her stepdaughter, Gimili Glavin; her stepgrandson, Elliott Berz; her mother, Connie Fuller Sanborn; her two brothers, Nick Huff and Chico Huff; three nieces and three nephews; and a large extended family.
There will be a closed-casket visitation at the Aquinnah town hall on Friday, Nov. 1, from 3 to 7 p.m. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. at the Gay Head Cemetery. A potluck will follow at town hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to Hope Hospice (P.O. Box 4188, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568), whose angel-like presence was a huge relief during her last days. Or you may simply take yourself to the shore or the fields and woods that grace our Island and gave her walks such joy — especially when accompanied by friends or family — and such solace toward the end.