Elder Azalee Cooper Woods Knox, affectionately referred to as "Mamalee," entered eternal rest on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, at McLeod Regional Medical Center, Florence.

Born on Oct. 5, 1932, in Sardinia, she was a daughter of the late John "King" Thomas and Mollie Cooper. She was previously married to the late Thomas Woods and to that union four daughters were born. She was later married to the late Elder Willie Knox. She graduated valedictorian from Melina Parochial School and did further studies at Morris College. She retired from Exide Battery after many years of service. At an early age, she joined Melina Presbyterian Church, where she served faithfully as an elder, with the kitchen ministry, gospel and senior choirs, homecoming committee, as a Sunday school teacher, the Presbyterian Women Association, the Presbytery and as musician for both Melina and Ebenezer Presbyterian churches. Elder Knox served as treasurer of St. Mary Chapter No. 156 OES until her health failed. She was a member of the Sumter Bowling League, National Federation of the Blind, North Main Community Club, Northside Neighborhood Association and Broad Street Reunion. She enjoyed bowling and playing spades. She was an avid fan of the Braves baseball team. Elder Knox traveled extensively to include the Holy Land, Israel, Germany, France, the Bahamas and numerous locations within the United States.

She was known for her kind and giving spirit. She donated funds to provide a playground for the children of the church. The playground was named in her honor as "The Azalee Cooper Woods Knox Playground." She also provided funds to purchase a computer for the church. She was a source of transportation for many members in the Sumter area. "Mamalee" was known for her Mustangs and Lincoln Continentals. She was a person you could count on to help her family and friends in times of need.

She leaves to cherish her memories: four daughters, Thomasenia (Joseph) Gaines of the home, Carolyn Woods of Washington, D.C., Jo Elizabeth (Dr. Connor) Mulcahey of Dublin, Georgia, and Sherian W. Rogers of Sumter; two stepdaughters, Julia Burrell of Sumter and Betty (Louie) Dicks of Columbia; six grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; a devoted caregiver, Ivia Smith; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

The family is receiving relatives and friends at the home, 717 N. Main St., Sumter, and at the home of her daughter, Sherian W. Rogers, 9 Barton St., Sumter.

Homegoing celebration will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Melina Presbyterian Church, 3539 Black River Road / S.C. 527, Gable, with the Rev. Carnell Hampton, pastor, and the Rev. Samuel L. Sparks, eulogist.

The remains will be placed in the church at 1 p.m.

The funeral procession will leave at 1:15 p.m. from the home.

Burial will be at the Melina Presbyterian Church cemetery.

These services have been entrusted to the management and staff of Williams Funeral Home Inc., 821 N. Main St., Sumter.

Online memorial messages may be sent to the family at

Visit us on the web at