Swope, Dr. Charles E.

November 11, 2003

On Saturday, November 8, 2003, DR. CHARLES E. SWOPE peacefully passed away at his home with his family by his side following a lengthy illness. He was President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of The First National Bank of Chester County for over 30 years. Additionally, he was a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps. Born in West Chester, he was the son of the late Dr. and Mrs. Charles S. Swope. His father served as president of West Chester State College for 25 years. Dr. Charles E. Swope graduated from West Chester High, Bucknell University, and The School of Law at Washington and Lee University. He was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity at Bucknell University. Upon graduation from Law School, he returned to West Chester to the Law Firm of Gawthrop and Greenwood, and then took a position with The First National Bank of West Chester, now The First National Bank of Chester County. At the age of 41 he earned the distinction of becoming the youngest president in the bank's history. He served as president of the bank for over 30 years. Active on boards, executive committees and many organizations, he worked tirelessly on their behalf to advance the best interests of Chester County and this Commonwealth. Dr. Swope was a noted philanthropist throughout his life. Among his impressive list of directorships are: The First National Bank of Chester County, The First Chester County Corporation, Denney-Reyburn Company, Penn Mutual Insurance Company, The Swope Foundation, West Chester University Foundation, AAA Mid-Atlantic, special committees for The Chester County Hospital, and The Madison Corporation. He was past president of the Rotary Club of West Chester, a Paul Harris Fellow, Honorary Co-Chairman of the 200th Anniversary Celebration of West Chester, a member of West Chester Lodge # 322, F. & A.M., B.P.O.E. #835 (Elks Lodge), American Legion Post # 134, life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, an inductee of The Hall of Fame of West Chester High School, a member of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, and a former Director of the Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America, and received the Founders Award from the Chester County Historical Society. In 2002 the Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America honored him with their first Distinguished Citizen Award. In 2002, the State System of Higher Education awarded Dr. Swope with the Eberly Award for Philanthropy. During his youth, he was an outstanding athlete and played football for West Chester High, Bucknell University, and The Quantico Marines. He joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1948, rose from the rank of Private to Colonel and completed 40 years of active and reserve service. He was awarded the Legion of Merit by President Reagan, as well as the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Naval Achievement Medal, Organized Marine Corps Reserve Medal, National Defense Medal, and The Armed Forces Reserve Medal for his distinguished service as Colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Colonel Swope was recognized by The Chapel of Four Chaplains and awarded The Legion of Honor Gold Medallion. He also served as a Blue and Gold Officer for the United States Naval Academy. Colonel Swope also had the distinction of serving as National President of the Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association and continued to serve on the Board of Directors to the present. He served as President of the Board of Trustees of West Chester University for 10 years, at which time the University experienced the greatest expansion of facilities with 22 new buildings, as well as the growth of the academic program which resulted in West Chester State College becoming West Chester University. He was a Charter Member of The Hall of Fame of West Chester University. In 1974 Dr. Swope received the Outstanding Citizen Award by the Chamber of Commerce of Greater West Chester. In addition, in 1999 he received the Outstanding CEO Award from the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry. In October of 1998 he was honored by The Newcomen Society for leadership and community service. Dr. Swope had been selected by Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the East for the past decade and Who's Who in Finance and Industry. He was active in the banking and legal communities and served on numerous committees of the Pennsylvania Banker's Association. He was a life member of The American Bar Association and American Bankers Association. Additionally, he was a guest lecturer at various law schools on the subject of Corporate Law. He was a life member of the Union League of Philadelphia and a member of the West Chester Golf and Country Club, Radley Run Country Club and Applebrook Golf Club. Dr. Swope was an avid gardener, and enjoyed walks through historic West Chester and Chestertown, MD. In addition, he looked forward to annual sailing trips with friends and boating trips with his family. He is survived by his wife Stephanie Sayre-Smith Swope and his son Charles E. Swope, Jr., both of West Chester, a brother Richard M. Swope, Esquire of Virginia Beach, VA. His military funeral will be held 11 AM Tuesday November 11, 2003 at The United Methodist Church of West Chester, High and Barnard Sts. West Chester, PA Viewing 9 to 11 AM Tuesday at the Church. Interment at Oaklands Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions should be made to The Swope Foundation, c/o The First National Bank of Chester County, 9 North High Street, West Chester, PA 19380. Arrangements by: DellaVecchia, Reilly & Smith Funeral Home, Inc. West Chester 610-696-1181.

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