Carolyn Harris Nelson died peacefully on June 19th, 2018 after suffering several years with a rare neurological disease.
Carolyn was born in St. Petersburg, Florida on July 9th, 1943 to Frank M. Harris and Frances C. Harris. She was the youngest of five children, being just a few minutes behind her twin sister, Marilyn H. Singleton, who, in addition to Carolyn’s other siblings, Frank M. Harris, Jr., Richard C. Harris, and Jeannine H. Green, all predeceased her.
Carolyn and her husband, Richard William Nelson, were married in December, 1963 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral in St. Petersburg and were blessed with two wonderful children, Kenneth(Kent) Michael Nelson, married to Vicki Marie Rodriguez(Nelson), and Courtney Carolyn Nelson(Engler), married to Eric Scott Engler, along with six outstanding grandchildren; Thomas Christopher Nelson, Katherine Elizabeth Nelson, William Joaquin Nelson and Charles Michael Nelson, all of St. Petersburg and Davis Putter Engler and Graham Harris Engler, of St. Louis, Missouri.
Carolyn was a descendant of the McMullen brothers, who settled in Pinellas County in the 1800s. She attended Northward Elementary and Mirror Lake Junior High School and completed St. Petersburg High School in 1961, after which she chose to attend the University of Florida, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Delta Gamma Sorority.
After college, she taught American Government and Latin in high school. Later, having obtained a master’s degree in counseling from the University of South Florida, she became the guidance counselor for the International Baccalaureate program at St.Petersburg High School. She continued her career as a guidance counselor at Dixie Hollins High School but was so well thought of at SPHS, that an award was named for her. The “Carolyn Nelson Award” is given annually to the most ideal graduating IB student at SPHS.
Always involved with the church, Carolyn sang in the choir and attended Sunday school at St. Peter’s as a youth. Later, she and her husband joined St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, where she was very active, starting a “Support Our Troops” committee, co-chairing the “Greeters” committee, becoming a Licensed Eucharistic Minister and also being Rectora of Women’s Cursillo No. 5 of the Diocese of Southwest Florida. Sandwiched in amongst her many activities, she also entered the deaconate program of the Episcopal church but later determined that her true calling was as a high school guidance counselor.
In her spare time, Carolyn enjoyed playing tennis, golf, and bridge, and taking trips with her girl friends. She was also a member of the Junior League, the Debutante Club and Daughters of the American Revolution(DAR).
Services will be held at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 1200 Snell Isle Boulevard, at 4 PM on July 21st, 2018. Interment and post-funeral reception will follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, Carolyn’s family requests donations be made to St. Thomas or Suncoast Hospice.