Gertrude Gladys Missouri Harris, was the chant we used to sing as young children. It had a ring to it. Our mom, Gertrude Harris Sealo was born on August 6, 1921 and transitioned on Sunday July 5, 2020, one month before her 99th birthday. She was strong and feisty until the age of 95 when she took a fall. Since then she slowed her pace and finally came to a sudden halt on that first Sunday in July 2020.
Gertrude was born in Camden, South Carolina and moved at a very early age to Philadelphia, PA. It was there that she was raised and baptized at Thankful Baptist Church. After graduating from High School, she attended Howard University and was welcomed to the campus by Lorenzo W Harris Jr. who donned her head with her freshmen beanie. She graduated with a degree in Social Work and soon after worked in her chosen profession. Gertrude and Lorenzo married. After Lorenzo completed his internship in St. Louis, Missouri, they settled in his hometown of Asbury Park, NJ. She became a member of her husband’s church, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, and raised 4 children, Sharon, Kay, Lorenzo III (Rennie) and Nancy.
Gertrude was a full-time mom during her children’s early years, was involved in community service, active in social organizations, the PTA, the church flower guild, and so much more. She started in the Asbury Park school system as a teacher’s aide, then attended Kean College at night to earn her teaching certificate. She taught kindergarten at Bangs Ave School for 21 years, retiring in 1987.
Over the years, Gertrude has been able to enjoy the wonders of the world as she had traveled to Australia to the North Pole, and many places in between. At the age of 81, Gertrude married Ernest Sealo. They were snowbirds and spent winters in Puerto Rico. They lived it up with several of their NJ friends who also migrated south for the winter.
Throughout the years Gertrude was involved in many organizations and received numerous awards and recognition. Here are a few:
But what we will remember her for the most is piling all of the neighborhood kids in her Rambler station wagon to take us to Belmar beach almost every day during the summer, her hosting meetings and parties at her home on Bangs Ave, her bridge playing, which she miraculously played very well even after Alzheimer’s set in. The most important memory was seeing the sparkle in her eyes on the last in-person visit we had with her.
Gertrude was predeceased by her son, Lorenzo “Rennie” Harris III; first husband, Lorenzo W. Harris MD; and second husband, Ernest Sealo. She is survived by her 3 daughters, Sharon Gail Harris, Kay Harris McKenna (Bill), and Nancy Harris Crooks; granddaughters, Kathryn Kellee Harris, Britney Crooks and Morgan Crooks; great granddaughter, Kinlee Harris; nephew, Donald Myers; and nieces, Vicky Myers and Marion Myers.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to St Augustine Episcopal Church, Asbury Park, NJ
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