Azalee Ellerbe Monroe was born September 24, 1917, in Marion, South Carolina, to the late Hayward and Minnie Ellerbe. She was one of five children.
Azalee joined St. John AME Church in Marion at an early age. Her pastor, Reverend Jenkins, organized the Junior Ushers Board and made Azalee President at age ten. He would meet with the children and teach them how to serve. She served until she was sixteen years old, then went to the Senior Ushers Board. At seventeen, Azalee accepted Christ. In 1935, Azalee graduated from Marion County Training School. That August, Azalee moved to New Haven, Connecticut and joined Varick Memorial AME Zion Church, their Ushers Board and various church clubs.
In 1938, Azalee met a young man from Jersey City, New Jersey, Muldrow Monroe. On April 11, 1942, they married, moved to Jersey City and made it their home. There, Azalee joined Metropolitan AME Zion Church and again joined the ushers: she served as President of the Ushers Board for many years; as Chairman of Woman’s Day, two years and Woman of theYear, one year. In 1966, Azalee served as Vice-President of the Pastors Auxiliary Club. In 1961, Azalee organized the first Junior Ushers Board and continued working with the children in 1999. Metropolitan AME Zion is a member of the first eight churches in The Ushers Union of Hudson County established in 1936, [sixteen churches as of 1999], and Azalee served as Vice-President with two Presidents and as President over ten years or more. In 1998, she decided it was time to let some younger person take over, so they voted her Honorary President. Azalee received many plaques for excellence during her forty-four years of service at Metropolitan AME Zion, including one for over twenty years of service from The Ushers Union of Hudson County in July 1998.
Azalee worked over twenty-five years for Maidenform, Inc. In 1988, Muldrow, her beloved husband of forty-six years, passed away.
Azalee is predeceased by her sister, Lillian Ellerbe; brothers, Hayward and James Ellerbe; sister, Reverend Lila Mae Sykes; nephews, Roosevelt Jr., Rudy and Raymond Sykes (Sr.); and niece Constance (Sykes) Flagg.
Remaining to cherish her life and memory are nephews, Harold (CT), Maurice (NJ), Larry and Richard Sykes (CT); niece, Juanita Dean (CT); cousin, Fanny Jackson (CT); great-nephews, Valdez Flagg (CA) and Ray Sykes II (NY); great-nieces, Venela Flagg and Portia Moore (CA), and a host of relatives and friends.
Loving daughter, sister, aunt, wife and friend, Azalee Ellerbe Monroe lived her life as a good servant to God, family, church and humanity. We will love and honor her forever.