She came to Port Townsend as Penelope Dorado the year the Hood Canal Bridge sank, moving in with her sister Margaret Powell on Taylor Street. She promptly went to work for Forest Aldrich, then started a catering business, and soon became the first evening chef at the Fountain Café where she met her future husband William Higgins in 1987. They ran the wishbone ketch “Rockwell Kent” for two seasons, with Penelope running the galley.
Penelope had a wonderful palate, and was considered a very fine cook and super taster. Besides cuisines, her interests included textiles, history, travel, and a love of small animals — she always had a pet cat. All who knew her regarded her as a kind, generous, and thoughtful woman.
In 1989 she entered the Medical Lab Technology program at Peninsula College; with her degree she began working at the Puget Sound Blood Center. In March, 1991 Bill and Penelope were married in Victoria, B.C. and moved to Seattle for their career changes. Penelope retired in 2002. In 2014, Bill retired from the IT profession, and the two happily moved back to Port Townsend, which was Penelope’s final residence.
She is survived by her husband Bill; by her sister Margaret Phillips and her brother-in-law Bart Phillips now in Vancouver, Washington; and siblings Peter Powell, Patric Powell, and Pamela Powell. She had numerous nieces and nephews from her siblings. She was especially close to her niece Leah Masci (PTHS class of ’90); to her nephew Mike Phillips (PTHS class of ’99); and to her step-daughter Emily Loving Higgins (PTHS class of ’91); and step-son David Higgins.
On Feb. 13, 2021 a massive cerebral hemorrhage took her away from us, and she passed away painlessly on March 4 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma. There will be a private ceremony with the family later in the summer in Vancouver, Washington.