Elizabeth Hoyle Daniels


Elizabeth Hoyle (Penney) Daniels, our beloved “Betty,” passed away peacefully at her home, Sea Pines, in Oak Bluffs on April 13, 2021. 

The daughter of Margaret Buckley Hoyle and Merrill I. Hoyle, she was born on June 17, 1924, and grew up on the Vineyard. After high school, she moved to the Boston area, working for a time for the FBI. She married fellow Islander and high school sweetheart Robert A. Penney Sr. with whom she had two sons. They lived in Watertown and Wayland, but spent most summers on the Vineyard managing the Pequot House, their guesthouse in Oak Bluffs. She later married Charles Daniels, who predeceased her. They lived in New Hampshire and Vermont, where she obtained her associate’s degree and worked as an alcohol and drug counselor at the White River Junction VA Hospital and Serenity House in Wallingford, Vt. Upon retirement in 1990, she moved back to Oak Bluffs, became a valued member of the community, and lived here happily for the rest of her life.

Betty was proud of her 56 years of sobriety, and was a leader in AA, where she inspired and supported countless others. She was also active in the Friends of the Oak Bluffs Library and the Trinity Methodist Church. She will long be remembered for striving to follow the ideals of the Prayer of Saint Francis, for her unfailing optimism, and for her faith in the fundamental goodness of others.

She is survived by her sister Barbara Hoyle of Oak Bluffs; her son Dr. Robert A. Penney Jr. and his wife Barbara Grothe-Penney of Middlesex, Vt.; daughter-in-law Linda Penney of Novato, Calif.; grandchildren Dr. R. Brendan Penney (MinhDy Tran) of Anderson, S.C., Colin Penney of Westerly, R.I., Eamon Penney of Middlesex, Vt., Kimberly Penney (Michael Schneider) of El Cerrito, Calif., Kevin Penney (Kelley) of Novato; great-grandchildren C.J. Schneider, Ryan Schneider, Emmeline Penney, and MinhTuyet Penney; and first husband and lifelong friend Bob Penney of Oak Bluffs. She was predeceased by her parents, her brother Dr. Merrill Cassius Hoyle, sister Margaret Hoyle, and her son Jonathan D. Penney.

A brief interment service will be held at Oak Bluffs’ Oak Grove Cemetery at 1 pm on Saturday, April 24. A memorial service is being planned for August, followed by a reception where her many friends and family can share memories of Betty.

Her family would like to thank Dr. Amar Luzic for helping her maintain remarkably good health during her later years, Elder Services of Cape Cod and the Islands for supporting her wish to remain at home, Cheryl Kram, R.N., and the VNA Hospice staff for their expertise and caring during her final weeks, Pastor Hyuk for spiritual support during an especially challenging year, and her many wonderful friends and neighbors for their many acts of kindness and generosity.

For those wishing to make a charitable contribution in her memory, please consider Vineyard House, P.O. Box 4599, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 (vineyardhouse.org); or the United Methodist Church of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 2580, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 (umc-mv.org).