COLUMBIA -- Elizabeth Herniman Knowles stepped into eternal Glory with her precious Lord and Savior on Saturday, July 13, 2019.
A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at Cornerstone Community Church, 1481 Chestnut St., Orangeburg, on Sunday, July 21, at 3:30 p.m. Her family will be available for fellowship after the service.
Elizabeth (Hungerpiller) was born Oct. 13, 1927, in Elloree, South Carolina, to the late John Henry and Fannie (Troutman) Hungerpiller. She graduated from Elloree High School and during this time, Elizabeth gave her heart to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and chose to serve the Lord wholly during her lifetime. After graduating Prairie Bible College, Canada, and Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, Elizabeth decided to be a missionary as a medical nurse to Africa. On the mission field in Jos, Nigeria, she met and married her first husband and sweetheart, the Rev. John Robert Herniman (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) and had three children. After losing two of their children, Elizabeth and John returned to the States to serve the Lord. They started and led numerous churches over the years, first in Pennsylvania and then in South Carolina. Elizabeth also faithfully worked for over 20 years as a nurse and later as a supervisor at the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg. She was dedicated to her profession and was known for riding a large cotton combine tractor from Elloree to the hospital in Orangeburg during the Blizzard of 1973 to provide care through the emergency conditions.
In their later years together, Elizabeth and John owned and operated The Christian Bookstore in downtown Orangeburg. Through this store they showed the love of the Lord to many and completely supported a camp for underprivileged children during the summers, until John's passing. Elizabeth married second husband the Rev. Howard Knowles late in life for only a few years until his passing in 2014.
Throughout her life, Elizabeth helped many people, supported numerous missionaries and Christian organizations and shared her faith with those she met. She was a gifted teacher of the Bible to children as well as adults. She was known by many as a gentle, caring and fun lady who always put the Lord first in her life. She had a passion for writing and expressed it in journaling, her diaries and correspondence. She loved to celebrate life and wrote many letters of encouragement, congratulations and the celebration of any joyful event. She truly liked to have fun and loved to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy the leaf changes every fall. Later in life, when unable to get around as well, she would read her Bible with puppies Cocoa and Truffles on her lap.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, John Herniman, and their two daughters, Martha Elizabeth and Rebecca Alice; her three brothers, the Rev. Henry Hungerpiller and cherished niece Roberta Hungerpiller, Dr. William Hungerpiller, and Wayne Hungerpiller; and second husband, the Rev. Howard Knowles.
She is survived by her daughter, Esther Herniman Axson, and son-in-law Jerry Axson of Columbia; grandson Shane Jonathan Axson of Columbia; Hal Axson of Columbia, brother of Jerry; and nieces by her brothers, Georgana Hungerpiller Davis of Orangeburg, Rosana Schaack of Liberia, Rebecca Jallah of Florida, Shawnna Williams of Orangeburg, Sharminna English of Orangeburg, and Debbie Hungerpiller Ball of McDonough, Georgia.
Memorials can be made to Cornerstone Community Church, 1481 Chestnut St., Orangeburg, SC 29115.