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Georgianna Hannum Stapleton


1944 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Georgianna Hannum Stapleton Obituary
Georgianna Hannum Stapleton

December 7, 1944 - January 17, 2017

Born in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, to George H. Duross and Helen Curtiss, Georgianna (Georgie) Duross attended The Raven Hill School, The Springside School and The University of Pennsylvania (B.A.). Georgie was married to The Honorable Walter K. Stapleton, a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. They were married for 25 years and lived at Foalsfield, their farm in Unionville, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was married to John B. (Jock) Hannum, Jr. who was a decorated Marine Corps officer in the Vietnam War. Georgie and Jock raised four children, Christianna P. Hannum, John B. Hannum III, Curtiss P.S. Hannum, and George D. Hannum.

Georgie was first employed with the Historical American Buildings Survey in Washington, D.C. as an Architectural Historian. In 1976, she founded Country Properties, a real estate firm committed to open space preservation. Her passion for open space was compelling, and she was an early, and persuasive, champion of placing conservation easements on landowners' properties. Georgie was chosen, by a leading conservation group, to oversee the disbursement of the King Ranch property, which resulted in the permanent preservation of over 5,000 acres in southern Chester County—an action that transformed the conservation easement movement in the community.

Georgie loved the land, but above all she loved her children, her grandchildren and her friends. Famous for her parties, dinners, and informal gatherings around the kitchen table, Georgie brought people together, from family members to Supreme Court Justices to local artisans. Foalsfield has always been filled with children swimming and fishing in the pond, Gator rides through the fields, the laughter and teasing of friends and family, and the joy of being in Georgie's company. To all who knew Georgie, she was smart, beautiful, and a loyal and generous friend. She was magnetic and fostered friendships and built community in all the places she loved, including Nantucket and Maine. Georgie was also brave; diagnosed with cancer in 2007, her spirit never diminished. She continued to work, travel, be an avid reader, and draw people together.

Georgie served as a Board member of the Chester County Hospital, The Primitive Hall Foundation, The Chester County Planning Commission, Planned Parenthood of Chester County, The Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Orchestra and The United Way of Chester County. She was also a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and a Fresh Air Fund Host Family. She is survived by her husband, her four children and their father, her eight grandchildren, her sister, and her niece and nephews. A memorial service will be held on February 25th, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at Church of the Loving Shepherd in West Chester, PA. A reception will follow at The Wilmington Club. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Chester County Fund for Women and Girls, www.cc womenandgirls.org.
Published in The News Journal on Jan. 25, 2017
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