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Deborah Swope O'Brien

d. April 19, 2023

Deborah Swope O’Brien JANUARY 24, 1954 – APRIL 19, 2023 Deborah Swope O’Brien (Debbie), passed away on April 19, 2023, surrounded by family in Stuart, Florida after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Born January 24, 1954, in Philadelphia, PA, Debbie was the second of three children to Custis Burton Swope and Margaret Bogan Swope. Debbie was a mother and an educator at heart that touched the lives of others with her passion, strength, work ethic, kindness, and fun-loving spirit. Debbie graduated from Conestoga High School in Berwyn, PA and continued her education at the University of Delaware with a degree in special education and a master’s degree from Widener University in social studies. As an exceptional teacher, mentor, and advocate for high school students with special needs, she taught at the Christina School District’s Newark High School for thirty years. Debbie and her loving husband of thirty-eight years, Kenneth W. O’Brien raised their family in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, where Debbie could often be found cheering her three children Bryan, Julie, and Molly from the sidelines, tutoring aspiring students, and engaging with her favorite friends. They spent summers on the Maine coast in their family home in Winter Harbor. Many days were filled with sailing, biking, swimming, adventures to Bar Harbor and lobster bakes on “the rocks” with their grandchildren, her sister Perky, brother Jack, their extended Swope family, and lifelong friends. Upon Ken’s retirement in 2018, Debbie and Ken moved from Pennsylvania to Mariner Sands in Stuart, Florida, splitting time between there and their beloved home in Birch Harbor, Maine. Deb was a highly active member in both the Kennett Square and Winter Harbor communities, giving her time, talent, and treasures to Church of the Advent, St. Christopher’s by the Sea and serving on country club boards, committees and numerous charitable organizations. Deb lived every day to the fullest. She was also actively involved in tennis, golf, pickleball, bridge, book clubs and much more. She was never one to miss a family event or social function. She loved entertaining and took pride in being the consummate hostess. She was always the life of the party with her quick wit and sly humor. Debbie was fiercely loyal to her family and friends. Her grandchildren adored her and the way their “Nini” shared her passions and favorite family traditions with them to carry on for generations. Debbie is preceded in death by her daughter Julia Bogan Furey and her mother Margaret Bogan Swope and godson Andrew John Swope. Deb leaves behind her proudest legacy, family, and friends. Deb is survived by her husband Ken, her son Bryan (Loryn) Furey, their daughter Margaret (Kyle) Frazier, her grandchildren, Grant, Cole, Sloane, and Sawyer, whom “Nini” loved dearly; as well as her father Custis Swope, her sister Nancy (Paul) Feeley, brother John (Cindy) Swope, and her cherished nieces and nephews. Services to be held on Thursday, May 25th at 11:00AM at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, 22 East Chestnut Hill Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Debbie’s honor may be made to After-The-Bell at Kennett After-School Association (KASA) P.O. Box 1068, Kennett Square, PA 19348. (; or Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital Foundation P.O. Box 796, Ellsworth, ME 04605. (
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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