Irene B. Sealie Nelson

February 10, 1943 ~ September 23, 2021 (age 78)


Irene Berne “Merl” Sealie was born to Master Carlton and Daisy Sealie on February 10, 1943 in the parish of Hanover, in Sandy Bay, Jamaica. She was the second of 14 children.

During her early years, it was a joy for Merl to roam around the countryside and Jamaican beaches. After matriculating through school in Jamaica, she moved to England to pursue her Nursing education. She received her nursing certificate in London but decided to go back to school to pursue her nursing degree, and was an alumnus of Florida International University where she later obtained her Bachelors in Nursing.

As a young adult, while pursuing her nursing education in London, England, she met and later married the late Raphael Nelson in August 1966. From their union five children were born; Elaine, Maurice, Yvonne, Cynthia, and Ilean. Irene and Ray would begin their family in England, relocate to Brooklyn, New York; Ocala, Florida and finally settle in Miami, Florida.

Irene believed strongly that their children should receive a Christian education and made many sacrifices to put them through the Union Academy and other similar educational institutions. Mom always pushed and encouraged us to put our best forward and to trust in God. She would diligently ensure the children were ready at the beginning of each school year by lining them up to administer Merl’s anti-cold potion which was made up of fresh aloe from her garden, a tablespoon of fisherman’s and cod liver oil. Only after they swallowed the potion, would she give them a taste of orange juice to replace the medicine taste with something pleasant.

Mom loved gardening and grew papaya, bananas, ackee, avocado, callaloo, mint, aloe, leaf of life, lemons/limes and would spend a lot of time in the yard caring for the garden. As a seamstress she saved money by sewing some of our clothing and even taught some of us how to sew using the sewing machine and by hand for things like repairing hems and buttons. Some of her spare time was spent doing needlepoint and crocheting, but the one thing she passed on to some of us was how to cook.

As an active member of the Mt. Pisgah SDA church, she was involved with Health ministry, and served in numerous capacities including a dedicated Sabbath School Superintendent, Sabbath School Teacher and Choir Member. She and Ray were known for visiting the local nursing homes after church services with their children in tow. She believed strongly in giving back and showing kindness to others. She is often remembered for inviting a visitor home after services adding more mouths to feed at the dinner table. Later Irene became an active member of the North Miami Church and years later, the Norland Seventh-day Adventist Church where she was active in the prayer ministry.

On Thursday afternoon, September 23, 2021, Irene fell asleep peacefully in Jesus our Lord in Miami, Florida, awaiting the voice of the Life giver. She was preceded in death by her husband Raphael Nelson, and leaves to cherish her memories five children, C. Elaine (Stephen) French, Maurice, Yvonne (Christopher), Cynthia (Michael), and Ilean; a stepdaughter Silvia; two siblings - Barry and Rose; a sister-in-law – Hyacinth, an aunt Verona Palmer, seven grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, several uncles, nieces, cousins, and a host of friends. She was preceded in death by eleven siblings


Floral arrangements may be sent directly to the church by Friday October 15th at:

Norland SDA Church

1175 NW 183rd Street

Miami, Florida 33169

ATTN: Nelson Funeral

(305) 651-7722

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Irene B. Sealie Nelson, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Irene

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October 17, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Norland SDA Church
1175 NW 183rd Street
Miami, FL 33169

Celebration of Life
October 17, 2021

11:00 AM
Norland SDA Church
1175 NW 183rd Street
Miami, FL 33169

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