Obituaries – February 20, 2019

Margaret Ruth Walker Alston

Margaret Ruth Walker Alston was born to Altomott Easterling and Maggie Smalls Walker in Darlington on Jan. 1, 1924.
She entered into eternal rest Sunday morning, Jan. 13, 2019.

Ruth received her academic training in the Darlington Public School System and was a graduate of Mayo High School, Class of 1940. After graduation, she matriculated at South Carolina State College, where she received a BS degree in 1944. She received an MS degree from City College of New York in 1974.

Ruth received her early religious foundation at Friendship Baptist Church (Darlington), where her parents were among the founding members. After relocating to New York, she continued her church involvement at Friendship Baptist Church and Grace Congregational Church (New York) and was extremely active in several ministries.

While in New York, Ruth was employed as an educator, social worker and dietician.

After returning to Darlington to care for her mother, she reinstated her membership at Friendship Baptist Church. She was a member of the Senior Missionary Society, Sorosis Guild, and served as a musician for the children’s choir. Ruth was involved in several civic organizations, which include being a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., National Council of Negro Women and South Carolina State University Alumni Association, to name a few.

Those left to cherish fond memories are: son, Leon E. Alston; daughter, Corrine Alston; a daughter-in-law, Pauline Avent; eight grandchildren, Idonna Avent, Jackie Avent, William Avent, Cory Avent, Monique NewKirk, Leon Alston, Jessica Alston and Stephanie Avent; nine great-grandchildren; nieces, Camille (Walter) Spain, Cheryl Walker and Denise Dozier; nephews, Robert (Diane) Walker, Tariq Walker; a host of other relatives, surrogate children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her siblings: Robert A. Walker, John Walker and Mamie W. Moone, and her nephew Fernando M. Cole.

Betty Earlene Adams

DARLINGTON — Betty Earlene Williamson Adams, 86, died Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. Her funeral services were held in the chapel of Belk Funeral Home Feb. 13, with burial in Darlington Memory Gardens. The family received friends at the funeral home.

Born April 4, 1932, she was the daughter of the late Tommie and Eva Dabbs Williamson. Mrs. Adams worked for Dixie Cup for 39 years before retiring.

She is survived by her daughter, Teresa L. Tallon of Scranton, grandchildren: Chris (Ellen) Lambert of Florence, Brandi L. McCutcheon of Effingham, Stacie (Brandon) Johnson of Florence; eight great-grandchildren, a sister, Jerri Williamson, Georgette (Bill) Davis, Tommie Kay Williamson of Clearwater, Fla.

Mrs. Adams is also survived by her faithful canine, Cricket, whom she adored.

She was preceded in death by husbands, Raymond E. Lambert and David H. Adams, and her son, Ray Lambert Jr.

A guestbook is available online at

Albert P. Coggeshall Jr.

DARLINGTON — Albert Parrott Coggeshall Jr. of Rock Hill passed away peacefully Sunday morning, Feb. 10, 2019.

A memorial service was held at Darlington Presbyterian Church Feb. 14, directed by Belk Funeral Home. A reception followed in the McCown Building at the church.

Al was born in Darlington April 7, 1958, son of Lola Brooks Coggeshall the late Albert Parrott Coggeshall Sr. He attended Camden Military Academy and graduated from St. John’s High School, where he played football.

He attended Presbyterian College and Mars Hill College, after which he joined the Air Force in 1978 and was a member of ROMAD Special Forces.

He later obtained his North Carolina Real Estate Broker’s license and opened his own firm at Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.

In addition to his mother of Darlington, he is survived by his wife of 17 years, Jeanie Laney Coggeshall, a daughter, Hunter King-Coggeshall, stepchildren, Sam Wilson and Regina Mullis, sisters: Lola (Chuck) Early, Lurline (John) Bryant, Jean (Mike) Lavespere, eight step-grandchildren and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.

Memorials may be made to the Disabled American Veterans fund.

A guestbook is available online at

Wesley Gilliam McKnight Sr.

DARLINGTON – Wesley Gilliam McKnight Sr., 77, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019.

Funeral services were held Thursday, Feb. 14, in the chapel at Belk Funeral Home with burial in Darlington Memory Gardens. The family received friends Thursday at the funeral home.

Wesley was born Sept. 8, 1941. He was the last surviving son of 10 siblings to the late Walter Reese McKnight and the late Ethel Cassidy McKnight. He started his career working for Nytronics and then opened his own business, Wesley’s Body and Glass Shop. He enjoyed fishing and watching NASCAR.

Surviving are his sons, Gil (Dee Dee) McKnight of Hartsville and Tony (Tammy) McKnight of Darlington; grandchildren, Michael McKnight and Blair (Drew) McElveen; great-grandchildren, Michael McKnight, J.J. McKnight, and Wyatt McElveen. Also surviving are his sisters, Faye McGuigan, Betty Foster and Carolyn “Sissy” Schwichtenberg.

He was preceded in death by a grandson, Johnny McKnight, and a long-time friend and companion, Lillian Knight.

Memorials may be sent to the Darlington Humane Society, PO Box 503 Darlington, SC 29540.

A guestbook is available online at

Patricia Ralley Gandy

DARLINGTON – Patricia Ralley Gandy, “Miss Pat,” 77, passed away Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.

A visitation was held from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 19 at Belk Funeral Home, and other times at 527 Elm St., Darlington.

Born Aug. 22, 1941, Patricia was the daughter of the late Robert Lee Ralley and the late Bertha Elise Watkins Ralley.

She worked as a teacher’s aide, and also worked at Krispy Kreme.

Patricia enjoyed crocheting, going to the beach and baking cakes.

Surviving are her sons, Perry (Aleisha) Rhodes and Chris (Jeanie) Gandy, both of Darlington; daughter, Penny Cox of Florence; nine grandchildren and a number of great-grandchildren. Also surviving are her brothers, Robert (Odean) Ralley and Cedrick “Snake” (Lisa) Ralley, both of Darlington. She was preceded in death by a sister, Beverly Edwards.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the McLeod Hospice House, PO Box 100551 Florence, SC 29502-0551.

A guestbook is available online at

Sarah Elizabeth “Libba” Belk King

DARLINGTON – Sarah Elizabeth Belk King, “Libba,” loving wife of Harold L. King, went to be with her Lord on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019.

A funeral service was held Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Darlington Presbyterian Church, led by Rev. Kevin Cauley of Darlington Presbyterian Church and Rev. Snow Donmoyer of the Presbyterian Community in Florence.

A burial service followed at Grove Hill Cemetery. The family received friends Monday at Belk Funeral Home, and other times at the home of Lisa and Steve Fagan, 297 Warner Drive, Hartsville.

Libba was born Jan. 8, 1926, in Oswego. She was the daughter of the late May Curry Belk and Lillie Eugenia McCoy Belk. At the age of 3, Libba and her family moved to Darlington.

She graduated from St. John’s High school and received her home economics degree from Winthrop College.

On Aug. 2, 1947, Libba married the love of her life, Harold King, at Darlington Presbyterian Church.

She worked as a dietician for the Darlington County Schools for a short time, and then was employed with the Darlington County Department of Social Services for 30 years.

Also known as Mama, Mimi and the Biscuit Lady, Libba was devoted to her family, friends and church.

She was a member of Darlington Presbyterian Church for 90 years, a part of her special church circle group, and a founding member of The Lord Cares Ministry. Through her commitment to the Lord and her community, Libba received the Lifetime Achievement Award of The Presbyterian Women.

Left to cherish her memories are her daughters and sons-in-law: Debbie and Linnwood Edwards of Spartanburg and Lisa and Steve Fagan of Hartsville; her precious granddaughters: Elizabeth Edwards Newman and husband, Dave of Isle of Palms, Jane Marie Edwards Trail and husband, Matt, of Columbia, and SaraAnn King Fagan of Mt. Pleasant; great-granddaughter: Jane Zoe Newman, “Zoey”; nieces and nephews; long-time dear friend Dot Johnson; and special friends from her bridge clubs.

Libba was preceded in death by her sisters and brothers: Lillie Mae (Bruce) Belk Dawkins, Dorothy (Tom) Belk Whitaker, Samuel (Sarah) McCoy Belk, and Marion Curry (Frankie Harrison) Belk.

Special recognition, gratitude and love are expressed to the nurses and staff of the Presbyterian Community and hospice nurse, Penny Ellerby, who lovingly cared for Libba.

Memorials may be sent to The Lord Cares Ministry, PO Box 1457 Darlington, SC 29540, The Susan Johnson Memorial at the Darlington Presbyterian Church, 311 Pearl St. Darlington, SC 29532, or to the Presbyterian Community, 2350 W. Lucas St. Florence, SC 29501.

A guestbook is available online at

Maziree “Matt” Jordan

DARLINGTON — Funeral services for Mrs. Maziree “Matt” Jordan of Darlington will be 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at New Providence United Methodist Church. Interment will follow in the church cemetery directed by Jordan Funeral Home Inc.

Visitation for Mrs. Jordan was Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in the funeral home chapel with Eastern Star rites.

The family was receiving friends other times at the residence, 303 Arnold St., Darlington.

Author: Rachel Howell

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