Elizabeth "Betty" Swope

Elizabeth Sanford (Betty) Swope February 7, 1921 - April 8, 2017 Betty Swope, 96, died peacefully at her home in Elizabethtown, KY surrounded by family Saturday, April 8, 2017. She was born February 7, 1921 in Washington D.C. to Raymond L. Sanford and Ailene Leffingwell Sanford. Betty graduated from Bethesda Chevy Chase High School in 1938 where she played basketball, and then attended Miami University, Oxford, Ohio where she was a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority. She graduated with a B.S. degree in education in 1942, and briefly taught at Leland Junior High School in Chevy Chase, Maryland. On a double-blind date at Miami U, Betty met and fell in love with Foster William (Bill) Swope (her date that evening was the other guy). World War II was just breaking out, and she followed her father's example, enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1943. She wanted to serve her country and see the world. She was commissioned a Lieutenant, JG and stationed at the Main Navy Department in Washington D.C. (her home town) where her duties included protecting our military codes, and when compromised, canceling and issuing new codes. Betty was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946. At her parent's home in Chevy Chase, Maryland on July 26, 1945, Betty married Bill Swope, an army sergeant just returned from the war in Europe. As a commissioned officer, she out-ranked him, and for nearly 72 years Bill has saluted Betty every morning and evening. Together they raised 3 sons, 1 daughter, a foster daughter and foster son. They moved to Winchester, KY in 1952 where Bill opened his first automobile dealership, Swope Motor Company, Inc. The family relocated to Elizabethtown, KY in 1961, where Bill grew the business to what is now the Swope Family of Dealerships. Family was Betty's first priority. She loved to travel, go camping, boating, hiking, and participate in most any outdoor adventure with her family. She volunteered often as a Cub Scout den leader, Brownie leader, Girl Scout troop leader and Girl Scout Council member as her children participated in scouting. She received numerous awards including the Woman of Distinction award and the Tough Cookie award from the Kentuckiana Council, Girl Scouts of America. The Elizabethtown Rotary Club recognized Betty with the "Service Above Self" award. She was honored as the Grand Marshall in the 2004 Heartland Festival Parade, and recognized with the Elizabethtown Chamber of Commerce, "Woman of the Year" in 2009. Betty's church family was also very important, her steadfast Christian faith a testament to all who knew her. She was the first woman to be ordained an Elder in First Presbyterian Church, Elizabethtown, KY. She also served as the first Community Services Missionary at First Presbyterian. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of Presbyterian Homes and Services of Kentucky, and a member of the Citizens Committee for Lincoln Village Treatment Center and Hardin County Day Treatment Center. Her parents, 2 brothers, Alton and Raymond Sanford, 1 sister, Leora Hill, and 1 grandson, James Hornback precede Betty in death. She is survived by her husband, Bill Swope of Elizabethtown; 3 sons, Bob (Jan) Swope of Elizabethtown, Dick (Ann) Swope of Prospect, KY, and Carl (Anne) Swope of Elizabethtown; 1 daughter, Rev. Katherine (Jim) Redmond of Lexington, KY; 1 foster daughter, Angela (Lon) Keith of Lexington, KY; 1 foster son, Larry (Debra) Hornback of Melbourne, FL; 13 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. The funeral service for Betty Swope is 11:00AM Wednesday, April 12th at First Presbyterian Church, 1016 Pear Orchard Road in Elizabethtown, KY. Visitation is Tuesday, April 11th, 4:00PM to 8:00PM at Brown Funeral Home in Elizabethtown. Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to First Presbyterian Church or the charity of your choice. Condolences may be expressed at www.brownfuneral.com.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Brown Funeral Home


Wednesday, April 12, 2017 starting at 11:00 AM
First Presbytarian Church

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