Victoria Way DeLee, a civil rights activist, died Monday. She was 85.

DeLee fought for school integration, education of black voters and ran as a candidate for Congress. She also marched with Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1964, she demanded that her children be allowed to attend a white school.

She registered to vote in 1947 and was the first black person in her community who had a voter registration certificate.

DeLee also started a program for uneducated blacks in her community. She taught them how to read and taught them what she knew about the government.

She spearheaded a voter registration drive in 1965 in Ridgeville. When the registration director denied blacks the right to register, she demanded federal registrars.

DeLee was a candidate in 1971 for the 1st Congressional District. She ran on the United Citizens' Party of South Carolina ticket.

She also served on the S.C. advisory board of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

DeLee received an honorary doctorate from Amherst College.

In a letter to the family, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous wrote that DeLee's influence went beyond South Carolina and will impact future generations. "Countless individuals were inspired by her passion for civil and human rights and will now dare to lead the charge in her stead.

"We are honored to pay tribute to Ms. DeLee for her dedication and commitment to advancing the cause of freedom and equality."

Surviving are her children, Sunny B. DeLee, Elijah DeLee, Stephenia (Madelene) DeLee, Vickie Jefferson, Samuel DeLee, Tyron DeLee, Jannie Murray and Janet (Freddie) Jenkings. Two children, Van Hodge DeLee and Dorethia Seawright, preceded her in death.

The funeral for DeLee will be at 1 p.m. today at House of God in Ridgeville. Aiken-Capers Funeral Home is handling arrangements.