Penny Huff


Penny Huff died peacefully at home on Monday evening, October 28. Her indomitable heart beat on for several moments after her last breath in a vain effort to overcome the cancer she had fought for two years. She was 64.

Born in Ohio and moving frequently early on as her father was an itinerant radio dj and early television personality, she grew up in West Chop, had a storied adolescence, broke ground as the first female karate black belt on the Island, started a family, and moved to Gay Head in the early 80s.

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” 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 step-daughter, Gimili Glavin, her step-grandson, 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 visitation (closed-casket) at the Aquinnah Town Hall, Friday, Nov. 1, 3 to 7 pm, and a graveside service will be held at 1 pm on Saturday at the Gay Head Cemetery. A potluck will follow at town hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to Hope Hospice, PO Box 4188, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, whose angel-like presence was a huge relief during her last days. Or simply take yourself to the shore or the fields and woods that grace our island, that gave her walks such joy always — especially when accompanied by friends or family — and such solace towards the end.