Agrippina Ribnikova Swora, a forty-three-year resident of Wyndmoor and West Mount Airy PA, died Friday, June 23, 2023. She was 98. She died unexpectedly and suddenly at Abington Hospital.
She was born on a collective farm in Basmanovo, Smolensk oblast, Russia located close to Moscow. Before collectivization this had been the Ribnikov family farm. Agrippina was the daughter of the late Ivan and Agrippina Ribnikov. Both parents perished in the war as did siblings and others in the family. However, she was able to visit her siblings who survived, in Russia after the war.
During the war, Agrippina was captured near Moscow as the German Army advanced, and she was enslaved and transported to Germany. She remained in Stuttgart, Germany as a slave worker for the duration of the war where she was caring for a large wealthy Nazi household with several homes and many children. After not having been informed by her captors about the end of the war, she left them as a free person.
She met her husband John Swora in Stuttgart where they married before emigrating to the United States in May of 1950 along with their daughter Tamara (Swora-Gober); they settled in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia and became citizens. Their second daughter Anna (Swora) was born in Pottstown PA.
Agrippina worked until the age of 55 at the then Keebler Company as she helped support the education of her daughters. Also, she and her husband formed a collectible doll and toy business selling products in markets in the region. She interacted with all her customers in several languages.
Agrippina was a very creative craftsperson; she was a master seamstress who sewed her daughter's clothes and designed and completed her own. Her embroideries decorate the house. The extraordinary garden in Wyndmoor was and still is filled with lush colorful flowers and plants throughout the seasons and is her beautiful legacy. Her baked bread and fruit pastry enticed many friends on Saturday mornings.
Predeceased by her husband John (John died in 2013), she is survived by her daughters, Tamara Swora-Gober (the late Jack Gober) and Anna Swora, mother of her grandchildren, Alexander Van Haute and Elizabeth Geise (Ben) and by her great-grandchildren, William and Lily Geise.
Despite the many hardships, she had a great zest for life, a great smile and was a witty, kind, and generous woman who loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren devotedly and all others in the family.
She is buried in Lawnview Cemetery, Rockledge, PA beside her beloved husband John Swora.