Merri Kay Nelson
December 8, 1954 - December 23, 2022

Merri Kay Nelson, 68, of Wesley Chapel, passed away on Friday, December 23, 2022.
She was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and spent her childhood and young adult years in Jacksonville, Florida. She lived many years in many states and countries as a military spouse before the family moved to Wesley Chapel in 1994.  There she taught years of elementary school before eventually moving into her specialty of middle school math before her retirement. She was a member of Bridgeway Church in Wesley Chapel.
Merri Kay enjoyed watching game shows, especially Wheel of Fortune. She was an avid football fan including the Florida Gators, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins (from before the 1972 undefeated era but especially the Dan Marino era). Merri Kay also loved spending time with her precious family, especially her grandkids. She was diagnosed with brain cancer and valiantly fought it for 7 years despite a 1.5 year prognosis – something she readily credited to her faith in Jesus.  She will be remembered for her unwavering positivity in any situation and her strong, fighting spirit. She radiated kindness from her core and her ability to effortlessly put the needs of others before hers will always be admired. Her illuminating smile will fill our hearts with joy forever.
She is survived by her son Michael (Katie), daughters, Katie (Will) Perez and Becky Bush, and her beloved grandchildren, Lili, Wyatt, Mia, Josiah and Elias. Also surviving is her sister, Bette (Chuck) Gilpin. She is reunited in Heaven with her mother and father, Alfred and Patricia Walker and her sister, Linda Walker.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Merri Kay on Friday, January 13, 2023, at 5:30 pm at Bridgeway Church, 30660 Wells Road, Wesley Chapel, Florida, 33545.


  • Dale Boyer Posted January 7, 2023 4:42 pm

    Merri Kay, my dear friend, you are in the arms of Jesus. I am a bit jealous and will miss our friend “dates”. Thank you for being a loving, caring mother to my children and a loving, caring dear “sister” in Christ to me! Our children will be forever best friends and better people because of you. You will forever be my friend and I will celebrate you every December 23rd, on my birthday.

  • Sarah V. Clark Posted January 11, 2023 7:24 pm

    Our hearts and prayers go out to the Nelson family from TriMark South. We send love and support during these difficult times.

  • Judy Curry Posted January 12, 2023 3:25 pm

    What a memorable 1st grade teacher for my son when we 1st moved to Tampa. She was so special and I was privileged to be her room mom. The best was having her at my son’s wedding. She positively affected so many lives and will be greatly missed.

  • Miriam Ventilato Posted January 12, 2023 6:21 pm

    Mama Kay, What a treasure you have always been and will continue to be. You mentored me as a new teacher and quickly became a big part of my heart. You saw me through good times and bad. You helped my say goodbye to my sweet dog, Baxter and welcome my precious baby girl, Natalia. You embodied gentleness, love and laughter. What a great example of a mother, grandmother and friend. When I would pray for and with you, you always ended up encouraging me. Your faith and love for God and others is endless. I love you dearly and always will!

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