ROWLEY: Sela A. (Condo) Nelson, 71, of Rowley, passed away after a long battle with cancer on Friday morning, Dec.27th at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, with family by her side.
Sela was born April 7, 1942 in Cleveland Ohio to her late parents Fred and Elizabeth (Parker) Condo. She was the wife of Gordon “Gene” Nelson of Rowley. They were happily married for 47 years. In the course of their marriage, they lived in New Haven, CN, Brookline, MA, Apex, NC, West Newbury, MA, Lebanon, NJ, and Rowley, MA. Sela was an active church member in all of these communities. At her death, she was a member of the United Methodist Church of Ipswich. She was a Methodist lay speaker, was her church’s Financial Secretary, and was active in the United Methodist Walk to Emmaus organization.
Sela earned her BA in German at Bryn Mawr College and MA and PhD in medieval German literature at Yale University. Sela was a gifted teacher, teaching at institutions including Simmons College, Essex Christian Academy, Pope John XXIII Diocesan High School in Sparta, New Jersey, and Haverhill High School. In addition to German, she taught Latin, mathematics, and combined English-history courses.
After retiring from Haverhill High, she taught English in Guatemala for Partners in Development (PID), an Ipswich-based organization which does community development in Haiti and Guatemala. As a volunteer in PID’s Ipswich office, Sela managed PID’s child sponsorship program and developed and managed PID’s higher education program.
Other talents and interests included cooking and flower arranging using fruits, vegetables, and flowers from her husband’s garden, and photography. In Apex, she taught cooking and cooked the weekly Wednesday night suppers at the Apex Baptist Church. While cooking for the Apex church, she introduced its members to fresh broccoli, Italian-style bread, and Yankee-style green beans and herself learned to cook Southern-style green beans, North Carolina barbecue, Southern fried chicken, and pecan pie.
In addition to her husband Gene, she is survived by a son, Harold (Fritz) and his wife Elizabeth Nelson of Malverne, Long Island and a daughter, Rebecca L. and her husband David Brown of Kingston, RI. She also leaves a sister, Lois and her husband Gene Oster of CA and two grandchildren, Eric Nelson of Malverne and Sophia Brown of Kingston.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 4th at 11:00 AM in the United Methodist Church of Ipswich, 31 N. Main Street, Ipswich. A period of visitation will be held on Friday, Jan. 3rd, 3-7 PM in the F.S. Roberts and Son Funeral Home, 14 Independent Street, Rowley. Interment will be in the Rowley Burial Ground immediately after the funeral services. A collation at the United Methodist Church of Ipswich will follow the interment.
Donations may be made to Partners in Development, Market Street, Ipswich, MA 01938 (PIDonline.org).