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May 9, 2014

Former Kansas City Councilwoman Judy Swope dies

Swope was remembered as a passionate neighborhood leader, especially in south Kansas City.

Former Kansas City Councilwoman Judy Swope died Thursday at age 72 after a battle with cancer.

Swope, who represented the 6th Council District for two terms, from 1991 to 1999, was remembered for her passion and dedication to preserving and bolstering neighborhoods, especially in south Kansas City.

“Judy Swope was not only a dear friend but also a true champion for neighborhoods in all of south Kansas City,” said Carol McClure, co-chair of the Southern Communities Coalition, an umbrella organization for neighborhoods and home associations.

McClure said Swope’s community activism dated to the 1970s and led her to serve on the City Council, where she led several committees, including the influential Finance Committee. After Swope left office, she stayed actively involved in neighborhood concerns and appeared at City Hall on a contentious zoning issue just a few months ago.

Swope also served as a president of the Missouri Municipal League and was instrumental in bringing the National League of Cities’ annual congress to Kansas City in 1998.

She was born in Kansas City on Nov. 9, 1941, and was a lifelong city resident. She graduated from Southeast High School in 1959 and attended junior college and the University of Kansas. She worked as a data processor for Beta Sigma Phi for 29 years before being elected to the City Council. She was married to James A. Swope for 21 years, until his death in 1986.

Survivors include a brother and sister-in-law, a daughter, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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