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.