Retiree sees God’s providence in life

Published 3:44 pm Saturday, September 30, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Blue skies, sunshine and a cool breeze made great weather for Charlie Seale to get outside in the front yard and water plants close to where The Dart landed on Sandalwood Trail NE Friday. He went inside to get his wife Carolee Seale so she could tell her story. 

Carolee is originally from Monticello in Lawrence County and her husband Charlie is from Franklin County. They met at Mississippi College and were wed after Charlie received his diploma. Sixty years later, they continue to walk through this world hand in hand and share how God’s providence has shaped their life. 

Most recently, Carolee experienced God’s protection as she suffered a heart attack during a walk, survived and has now started a new chapter in her life taking blood thinners and will get a pacemaker. She said she felt pretty healthy for an 80-year-old and stays active. 

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“I went out early in the morning three weeks ago to try and beat the heat. I was walking with a younger neighbor of mine and I tried to match her pace. I must have over done it,” Carolee said. “I wasn’t feeling right. My doctor Joe Moak was out of town. I had to wait for him to get back but we scheduled a physical. He told me I was just a little bit away from having a heatstroke. It changed my life. For 80, I didn’t have any health issues.”

She said Brookhaven has wonderful doctors. Dr. Moak told her she could do whatever she felt like doing. Over the last few weeks, she has rested and started getting her energy back. Charlie said his wife is pretty energetic. 

On the day of her heart attack, Carolee walked 10,000 steps when she typically walks 6,000. She said it is a word of caution for people dealing with the heat. Now, she has to think about whether she will be able to get back to her house if she goes down to the mailbox. 

Her mind is still sharp as she pointed around to the neighboring houses and shared brief biographies of her neighbors. The family across the street from the Seales are from Asia and own the Donut Palace in Brookhaven. A man at the end of the cul-de-sac worked on an oil rig for many years, families down the street have young kids. 

It is a quiet and eclectic neighborhood. 

The Seales go to First Baptist Church in Brookhaven. Charlie worked as a bivocational pastor for many years in Franklin County. He would preach on Sundays and work at the Central Louisiana Technical Community College in Ferriday, Louisiana. Carolee said they teach a Sunday school class together now. 

They have a daughter, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren on the way. Two of their grandsons serve in ministry in New Orleans. Carolee used her career as a social worker to work in ministry for the Lord. 

She served as the director of children services at Southwest Mississippi Mental Health. God guided her on the journey, she said. Carolee got a masters degree from Southern Miss later in life at the age of 40. She was saved at the age of nine and dedicated fully to serving God when she was 12. 

“I worked there for a long time. When I was growing up, my mother told me I reminded her of Dorothy Dicks, a social worker. People would always tell me their problems as a child,” Carolee said. “I chose to go into social work. I believe God calls people to different vocations. I was dedicated to his service. I believe He saved me from heat stroke. When I put myself in harm’s way he still saves. I love doing the work that I did. It was challenging but very rewarding too.” 

One thing people may not know about Carolee is she is a huge animal lover. She has a red bone hound named Red and a black cat named Panther. She said Panther belonged to someone else in the neighborhood but they became allergic so she took him in. 

Panther sleeps at her feet and Red sleeps on the bed beside them. She said the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League is a wonderful thing. One thing she loves about her neighborhood too is seeing the animals. 

“I know the people who live in this neighborhood but I know their animals more,” Carolee said. “I take care of a chihuahua named Bruno. He is like my adopted child.”