Norma E. Swope, homemaker, sales associate and war bride, dies

Norma E. Swope, who was born and raised in England, worked at Hecht Co. and Hutzler's and was a member of singing groups.
Norma E. Swope, who was born and raised in England, worked at Hecht Co. and Hutzler's and was a member of singing groups. (Handout)

Norma E. Swope, a World War II war bride who later became an Ellicott City homemaker and a department store sales associate, died Sunday of kidney failure at Harmony Hall, a Columbia assisted-living facility.

She was 95.


The former Norma Lena Maud Evans, who was the daughter of William Albert Edward Evans and his wife, Lena Agnes Stockholm Evans, was born and raised Birmingham, England, where she graduated from local schools.

In 1938, she began working as a secretary for W & T Avery & Sons, a manufacturing concern in Birmingham.


During World War II, she met and fell in love with an American G.I., Norman Emmet Swope, who was serving with the Army in England.

She emigrated to Baltimore in 1947, and four years later, married Mr. Swope, who worked as an electrical engineer at Westinghouse Electric Corp.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Mrs. Swope worked as a part-time sales associate in the china and silver departments of the old Hecht Co. department store at The Mall in Columbia, and later for Hutzler’s department store.

Mrs. Swope enjoyed attending Orioles games and sharing vacations and visiting museums with her husband and two sons.

James Crockett, a retired real estate salesman who was a pioneering African American Baltimore Fire Board president, died Monday.

A singer, she was a member of the Elkridge Sweet Adelines, and traveled with the group to many international competitions, and the Showtime Singers. Other interests, family members said, included exercise, painting and British candy.

She had been a longtime member of Glen Mar United Methodist Church in Ellicott City.

Mrs. Swope lived in her home until 2016, when she moved to Harmony Hall.

She had survived the Battle of Britain, the blitz and wartime rationing, and proudly became an American citizen in 1962, family members said.

Her husband died in 1984.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. today at Catonsville United Methodist Church, 6 Melvin Ave.

Mrs. Swope is survived by her two sons, Derek Craig Swope of Bluefield, W.Va., and Scott Swope of Maryland; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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