Myrtle May Nelson was born on February 20, 1923 and died on April 14, 2021 at the age of 98.
Born Myrtle May Smith on February 20, 1923 in Camagüey, Cuba to parents Melvina Biggs and Elijah Smith.
At the age of seven Myrtle migrated to Portland Jamaica with her mother, stepfather and siblings, Eugenia, Estelle, Melvina, and Hilda. She spent a good portion of her childhood in Portland until she was orphaned, due to the untimely death of both her parents, within 24 hours of each other. Unhappy with country life and wanting the ease of city living she moved to the capital city Kingston, Jamaica. Not long after settling in Kingston she met Eustace Nelson, and as their fondness for each other grew into love, they decided to make a life together. The years passed and they lived together in marriage and raised three daughters, Adanell, Michelle, and Paulette fondly nicknamed Adie, Juju and Molly. Longing for an even better life and more opportunities for her family’s personal growth and economic success Myrtle decided to emigrate to the United States.
In August of 1962 she left the small Island of Jamaica and made the voyage to the United States by herself. Myrtle settled in Boston, there she became gainfully employed, worked hard, and saved to make her dream manifest. She successfully tackled the complicated immigration system, and was able to have her family join her six months after she arrived. On February 10th, 1963 Myrtle’s family arrived.
Myrtle was not afraid of hard work, she held positions as a domestic worker, laundry worker and eventually working for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a caretaker at the Walter Fernald State School that housed individuals with special needs. She provided love and physical caretaking of her charges until she retired in 1988.
Blessed with a long life she spent much of her retirement traveling back and forth to Miami, Florida visiting her daughter Juju and her grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She went back to Jamaica a few times. She also travelled to England and her last trip across the Atlantic was a trip to Cabo Verde. But she fell short of her dreams of returning to Cuba.
She also spent a great deal of time attending Mass and participating in Third Order of St. Francis meetings. She believed in keeping in touch with family and friends until she outlived most of them. Her love of family, honesty, faith and vibrant presence will be missed by all who knew her.
Preceding her in passing and waiting to guide her crossing over are her husband Eustace Nelson, her sisters Eugenia Henry, Melvina Lewis, Hilda McIntosh, brother Clovis Lewis and her nephews Anthony Reid and Derrick Corcho, Grandson, Jason Squires and Great Grandson Dwayne Nelson Jr.
Left to celebrate her life and continue to cherish her memories are daughters, Adanell Lake, Michelle Williams and Paulette Nelson-Squires, son-in-law Roger Squires, and her granddaughter-in- law. Rosangela Moreira-Williams. Grandchildren Tyrone Williams and Tanya Williams, Nicole Charlton and Dwayne Nelson. In addition, nieces and nephews as well as grand nieces and nephews, great-great grandchildren, all too many to mention, whom she loved dearly.
Visiting Hours in the Dolan Funeral Home, 1140 Washington Street, DORCHESTER LOWER MILLS, Friday, April 30, 2021 from 9:30-10:30 am. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Angela’s Church, 1540 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan, Friday, April 30, 2021 at 11 am. Interment New Calvary Cemetery, 800 Harvard Street, Mattapan.