SALEMI, Nelson Joseph, 65, of Miami, Fla., passed away April 28, 2009, after a 14 month battle against pancreatic cancer. After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1962, Nelson played football at Hutchinson Junior College in Hutchinson, Kan., before accepting a scholarship to play football at the University of Miami. He received a master' s degree in education from the University of Miami, and after graduating, he taught physical education and was an assistant coach for the University of Miami. Later, Nelson became a very successful life insurance agent, earning top honors with Midland Mutual, Jefferson Pilot Life and American Bankers. Nelson is survived by his sons, Mark J. and Michael A. Salemi; grandson, Bret Austin Salemi; former wife, Jorgeann Salemi of Miami; his sister, Pauline Salemi Rini; brother-in-law, Joe Rini; nephews, Richard A. Rini of Tampa, Joseph P. Rini of Jacksonville, N.C., and Frank Salemi of Tampa; and niece, Valerie Salemi-Courson of Riverview, Fla. His parents, Joseph Salemi and Matilda Castellano Salemi of Tampa, preceded him in death. Nelson came from a very large family, most of whom still reside in the Tampa area. Nelson will be missed by his family and friends. His celebration of life memorial took place May 5, 2009, in Miami.
Published in TBO.com on May 17, 2009.