Barbara Giffen Swain

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Barbara Giffen Swain

BALTIMORE ? Barbara Giffen Swain, 57, of Roland Park in Baltimore passed away Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, after a brief illness.

Barbara was born in Asheville, N.C., and returned to her native state to earn an MBA/JD dual degree in 1981 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill following her graduation from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and service as a VISTA volunteer. Barbara moved to Baltimore in 1981 to join the law firm of Whiteford, Taylor, Preston, and later moved on to spend most of her professional legal career in the office of the Maryland attorney general, most recently serving as principal counsel to the State Treasurer's Office.

During more than a decade, Barbara participated in the family business, The Dunes Manor Hotel and Dunes Motel in Ocean City, her Ocean City ties going back many years. She is a 1971 graduate of Stephen Decatur High School in Ocean City.

It was at Chapel Hill that she met Fred Demers, her loving husband of almost 30 years. Together, Barbara and Fred raised two wonderful sons, Benjamin and Peter Swain Demers. Barbara was a terrific mother who was immensely proud of her sons, delighted in their kindness and cheered their accomplishments, watching them become Eagle Scouts and seeing them graduate from college.

Barbara will be remembered for her vibrant and caring personality. She was a tremendously energetic, creative, talented and intelligent woman who nurtured relationships and gave great joy to her family and friends.

She held many leadership positions and contributed greatly to the success of church, charity and work communities. Barbara cherished the many close friendships she developed, serving as a role model to many, in social and professional circles. She served on the vestry, choir, memorial players and as co-chairwoman for the 150th anniversary committee for Memorial Episcopal Church, where she was a member for nearly 30 years. Barbara served on the board of the Women's Law Center and was past president of the Gilman School Parents' Association. Barbara's example inspires us to be joyful, forgiving, optimistic and generous.

In addition to her husband, Fred, and sons, Ben and Peter, Barbara is survived by sisters, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Jennifer and Harry Clarke of Sullivan's Island, S.C., Patricia and Paul Dufendach of Berlin, Florence Donovan of Hinckley, Maine, Roger and Sydney Radka of Syracuse, N.Y., Robert Swain of Black Mountain, N.C., and Katie Pettingill of Cordova, Alaska; and several nieces and nephews. Barbara was the daughter of Berlette Capt. Swain and Robert S. Swain; and niece of Thelma and Milton Conner.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Paul's by the Sea in Ocean City. The Rev. David Dingwall will officiate, and the Rev. Martha Macgill will assist. Interment will be private in St. Paul's Episcopal Churchyard in Berlin.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Memorial Episcopal Church, 1409 Bolton St., Baltimore, Md. 21217; or to The Center for Grieving Children, 555 Forest Ave., Portland, Maine 04104.

Arrangements are being handled by Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin. Acknowledgments may be sent to to be passed along to the family.

Published in The Daily Times on Feb. 16, 2011