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Ena V. Swain

March 27, 2020


Beloved wife, mother, grandmother -- and extraordinary local historian, author, and community organizer -- Ena Veronica Lindner Swain, 88, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wildwood, New Jersey, passed away on 3/27/20 at Chestnut Hill Hospital. Ena was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 8/18/31, to Stanley Barrett Lindner and Adeline Gardiner Lindner from Jamaica, British West Indies, who had emigrated from Kingston, Jamaica with Marcus Garvey as part of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Ena was the third child of four children growing up in South Philadelphia. She attended Landreth Elementary School in Point Breeze and Barrett Junior High, and she graduated from South Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1949. Ena was married to William Arch Swain, Sr, from Dale, Texas, on 9/8/51. They were married 66 wonderful years! 

Ena worked initially as the first African American bookkeeper and accountant at the W.C. Schmidt & Sons Inc. Brewery and as a public accountant with her own thriving practice. Ena had an innate ability with numbers and up until her death was still doing taxes. However, when her children were born, she stopped working for Schmidts and became very active in the Germantown and Philadelphia community. For example, she was actively involved in Germantown's Mallory Recreation Center Advisory Council and protested the limited recreational opportunities afforded to the children of Germantown. In fact, she requested and was granted a meeting with the late Mayor Frank Rizza where she demanded that a new gym be built for the children that could be used all year round. She also was a Board Member and Historian of the Johnson House Historical Society who was awarded numerous major awards and proclamations. 

After her family, Ena was most passionate about the history of the Abolition movement in Germantown. Her superb book. The Evolution of Abolitionism in Germantown and Its Environs, was published in 2018, and researched independently by Ena over the course of fifty years. This groundbreaking volume is an extraordinarily compelling and superbly well-annotated depiction of the birth of the Abolition Movement in North America in one extraordinary community: Germantown and its environs in Southeastern Pennsylvania, from the Colonial Period through the Civil War. 

Ena enjoyed spending time with her family, going to the Wildwood Beach, sitting on the porch at her beach house, talking to her neighbors Karen and Betty, playing pinochle, and swimming in the ocean. She also enjoyed riding her exercise bike, walking, and reading several newspapers every day to always be current with the news of the day. Later on in life, she also enjoyed watching MSNBC and "Dancing With The Stars" on television. She loved attending Christ Church and Saint Michaels and participating in the various activities of the Episcopal Church Women. Ena was also known for her extraordinary cooking skills. Turkey and her famous gravy, ribs, potato and macaroni salads, sweet potato pies, chocolate cake, cookies, homemade spaghetti sauce, meatballs, "Peas and Rice", and Ena's salad dressing were her special claims to culinary fame! Every year each grandchild was given an Easter Basket (always with the same amount of candy included, as the public accountant was abidingly fair)! 

Ena is survived by her four Children: Dr. Valarie Ena Swain-Cade McCoullum (Henry McCoullum), Gail Swain Harrison (Don Harrison), Dr. William A. Swain Jr. (Charlotta Swain), Brian Anthony Swain (Michele Barkley Swain), Grandchildren - Dr. Ena Cade, M.D., David Lloyd (Kesha), Lauren Swain Faulk, (Patrick), Vanessa Williams (Eugene), Don Harrison Jr, Stephen Price, Danielle Harrison, Tiara Swain, Gabrielle Swain, Tatiana Swain, Sarina Swain, Isabelle Swain. Her Great Grand Children: Charles Bears III, Kayla Cade, Ezranae Cade, David Cade III, Darien Cade, Kennedy Cade, Alec Harrison, Daniel Cade, Joshua Williams, William Patrick Faulk. Great Great Grandchild Amiyah Cade. Sister: Gloria Jordan. Sister in Laws: Anita Lindner, Anita Swain, and host of nephews, nieces, family and friends. William (husband), Stanley B. Lindner (Father), Adeline Lindner (Mom). Brother in law- Philip Jordan, Brothers, precedes Ena in death: James Lindner, Stanley B. Lindner Jr. The Family is pleased to announce that a Celebration of Life will be held for Ena later this year. 


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