Is it with deep sadness that Muriel and I write to inform you that, Penny Stoil, VFA Vice President for Development, passed away from cancer this morning.

We will miss her tremendously, not only because of her contributions to VFA but on a personal level.  Penny was a rare person, with exceptional gifts and qualities, including kindness, generosity, integrity, and a loving heart.

In anticipation of this day, because Muriel and I knew it was coming soon, we sent her the following letter six days ago on behalf of the VFA Board.  It was read to her by her heartbroken daughter, Julie, who has stayed by her side throughout.  We are glad to have provided this small comfort because we were told that Penny was moved to tears as she listened.

Penny often said that her time with VFA has been one of the most meaningful and valued experiences of her life.  She was thrilled by her newly elected position as Vice President for Development and by the many new relationships she was forming with colleagues.   She was a feminist to her core.

This is a loss to us all.

Eleanor and Muriel

Dear Penny:

We know you’ve been having a hard time with your health, so the board of directors of Veteran Feminists of America is writing to tell you that our thoughts and deepest gratitude are with you now.

Although it was recently that VFA officially elected you our Vice President for Development, you have actually been fulfilling that important function for a long time.  Your creativity and energy and ingenuity have been valuable factors in VFA’s continuing strength.

On a personal note, we have all been warmed by your many qualities as a colleague and friend– including generosity, loyalty and an unfailing sensitivity and selflessness that has always placed the welfare and comfort of others before your own.    

When we invited you to join the VFA board of directors we were well aware of your unparalleled reputation for supporting worthwhile causes financially.  We knew especially of your achievements in raising many millions of dollars for the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Metropolitan Opera, the Botanical Gardens and innumerable other causes. 

In recent years you have been giving VFA your professional expertise on a pro bono basis, and we are immensely appreciative of this gift.  Your work and achievements as a committed feminist have been noted and respected for decades.

We all join in sending our heartfelt thanks to you as an admired, valued and much-loved colleague.

With vast admiration and affection from all of us,


Eleanor Pam, President      

Muriel Fox, Chair