Penny Humphrey, Newspaper Journalist, Dies


Penny Filosi Humphrey, 56, an award-winning journalist, author, and most recently a teacher at Normandin Junior High School in New Bedford, Mass., died July 13 in Fairhaven, Mass., after a battle with a rare neurological disease.

During her 30-plus years as a reporter in New England, Humphrey often wrote about the disenfranchised, minorities, and social agencies.

She graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse Univeristy in 1968 and received a master’s degree in journalism in 1971 from Boston University. Humphrey worked for the Associated Press in Seattle and Anchorage, Alaska, and dailies in upstate New York before beginning her 16-year career with the Springfield Newspapers in 1974, working first for The Morning Union and Sunday Republican and later for the former Union-News. She was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Massachusetts, and worked for several Massachusetts newspapers in the 1990s.

Her work was honored by the New England Associated Press News Executives Association, the New England Press Association, and other groups.

In 1987, she wrote Stepmothers Try Harder, published by M. Evans of New York, a humorous look at her relationship with her stepson Jason Humphrey.

Humphrey was also an active freelance writer, with her work appearing in The Boston Globe and Yankee Magazine.

Her funeral was held July 18 in New Bedford.

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One thought on “Penny Humphrey, Newspaper Journalist, Dies

  • February 3, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Well, here it is 13 years after her death and I finally have the idea to see if I can find anything on the Internet about my Journalism professor from UMass. I’m sad this is what I found. I have been reminded about her here and there over the years since way back when for me, when I was a UMass undergrad and I took her class. It’s often on days like this – when it’s cold and rainy. I think of her because I still remember being sent out for class on a day like today, to just go out around campus and find something to write a newspaper type article about. I still remember her as being fairly quiet spoken, but at the same time she often exhibited a sense of humor and mischief. I really enjoyed taking her class, and there are things I learned from her about writing that I still remember and appreciate. I think she was the kind of a person that probably left many of her students with the same kinds of feelings and appreciations about her and what she taught them. I’m thankful I had the opportunity meet and learn from her.

    -John Jackson
    Amherst, MA


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