Aurelia was born on June 30, 1933 in New York, NY, the second of three children to John and Mary Miku. Her parents, both Hungarians, immigrated to the United States in the 1920s to work for a better life. They lived in a small Hungarian community in the Yorkville area of ââthe Upper East Side until they eventually moved to the Bronx. Aurelia’s first language was Hungarian, and she retained an ease with the language she later used to research her genealogy. She attended Catholic schools, graduating from Saint Jean Baptiste high school in 1950.
Prior to her first marriage in 1956, Aurelia worked as a stenographer in the New York offices of General Electric Company. She worked to help advance Radio Free Europe’s anti-Communist Cold War campaign by posing as a Hungarian flight attendant who had escaped from behind the “Iron Curtain.” In the summer of 1954, she led a group of students on a two-month tour of France, Switzerland and Italy. During this tour, she met her first husband, Jack Kenneth Merrill.
AurÃ©lia and Jack had four children to whom she was devoted and adored. They lived in Brooklyn and Queens before moving to Framingham, and eventually to Pembroke, Massachusetts. AurÃ©lia loved being a mother and considered it a personal vocation. She had a wide range of interests that she shared with her children, such as cooking, collecting bugs and stones, bird watching, gardening, collecting comics, making puzzles and reading. She loved to listen to classical music and opera.
After her divorce from Jack and while living in Pembroke, Massachusetts, Aurelia enrolled in college courses at Bridgewater State College, where she studied psychology and social work. She interned in social service agencies to gain work experience and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1979.
The same year, Aurelia married John A. “Jack” Worton. She graduated from Leslie College in 1982 and was certified as a “Nationally Certified School Psychologist” by the National Association of School Psychologists. After moving from Massachusetts to Newark, Delaware, Aurelia worked for the Colonial School District for thirteen years as a school psychologist.
Aurelia was active in the Newark community. She made many friends and enjoyed the Newark Senior Center computer club, stamp club, and swim group. She was an enthusiastic member of the AAUW gourmet dinner group. After her retirement, she and John traveled to China, South America and Europe. She became interested in genealogy and investigated her heritage during four trips to Hungary and Romania, where she visited archives and met relatives to obtain information about her ancestors.
Aurelia is survived by her sister, Isabelle Miku of New York; her children, Heather Merrill of New York, Jack Merrill, Jr. of Massachusetts, Steven Merrill of New Hampshire and Jennifer Gaylord of Virginia; nine grandchildren: Nicolas and Eliana Carter; Max Fanning and Sam Merrill; Christopher, Scott and Victoria Merrill; and Julie and Jillian Gaylord; and five stepchildren with their six children.
The Merrill and Worton families would like to thank the staff at the Country House for the loving care they provided to Aurelia.
A memorial service will be held at noon on Sunday November 21, 2021 at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE. Face covers will be required for everyone present not immunized with the COVID-19 vaccine by the Governor of Delaware. Interment will take place in private.
Any family or friends who cannot attend Aurelia’s memorial service can stream the service live by clicking (here).
The family suggests either a floral tribute or a contribution in memory of Aurelia to the Employee Contribution Fund, Country House, 4830 Kennett Pike, # 5502, Wilmington, DE 19807.
Posted by Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory – Newark October 29-30, 2021.