Azalee Williamson Smith, was born on September 17, 1931 in Mullins, South Carolina to Stacy Williamson and Azalee Wingate Williamson. After her mother’s passing, she was reared by her father and step-mother, Bessie Cribb Williamson. She was blessed with 89 years of life and entered into the presence of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on December 13, 2020.
Azalee was the oldest of four girls. She is survived by her sisters Vivian Stillman and Thea Cleckley (Gilbert), and the youngest, Hazelteen Brown, preceded her in death. She was a graduating member of the first 12th Grade senior class of Palmetto High School in 1949 in Mullins, South Carolina. She attended North Carolina A&T College in Greensboro, NC from 1949 to 1951. Shortly after, she married Wade Hampton Smith, Jr., who preceded her in death after more than 45 years of marriage. They had six children, Barbara Lynch (Isaac); Carolyn White (Thurgood); Wanda Freeman (Chuck); Glenda Joyce Smith, who was also her primary caregiver; Steven Smith (Gena); Sharon Cook (Mark).
Azalee attended Mt. Olive Baptist Church of Mullins where she served faithfully in many positions. She is remembered as a harmonious and hard-working woman who was loved and respected by many. She was a loyal friend, a confidant, a road buddy to and from Francis Marion University with Mrs. Claudie Mae Hughes. As two middle-aged women, they graduated with elementary education degrees. She was also loved by her neighbors, including Mrs. Lois Gerald, and was also a “mother” to many young women with whom she crossed paths, especially her neighbors Mary Linda Foxworth, Dorothy Lee Davis & Cheryl Platt.
When her children were young, Azalee worked numerous factory jobs until she began working with the Marion County school system as an aid and truancy monitor. Because of her grit and determination, and God’s grace and favor, when her oldest child finished graduate school, Azalee earned her college degree and started teaching at Nichols Elementary School until she retired more than twenty years later. Azalee joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in 1988 and was a charter member of the Dillon-Marion Alumnae Chapter. She was a steadfast and dedicated Soror who worked tirelessly in the community.
In addition to her six children, Azalee leaves behind eleven grandchildren - Kim Wooden (Ontario), Travis Lynch (Bianca), Courtland Freeman (Rakiya), Brandon White (Teresa), Erin Freeman, Karen Briscoe (Andrae), Kandice Smith, Steven “Tony” Smith, Eric Smith (Asia), Phoebe & Darius Cook. In addition, she leaves nine great-grandchildren - Sana'a, Brayden, Kendall, Leila, Kennedy, Amina, Nola, Aria & Liam as well as a host of nieces and nephews, family members and friends to celebrate her life and legacy.
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