Obituary of Aurora E Wheeler
Aurora Wheeler, 69, of Woburn, passed away peacefully at Lahey Clinic in Burlington on December 23, 2023.
She was born in Lowell, daughter of the late Richard and Aurora (Arpin) Wheeler.
Aurora came of age at a time when a new paradigm of what was possible for people with special needs was being born. Aurora spent 8 years in a state “school” for individuals with disabilities but, at the age of 22, moved to a beautiful home in Woburn owned by Nexus, Inc., one of the first agencies to run residential programs in Massachusetts.
After a few years, Ms. Wheeler had developed enough skill and independence to fulfill a dream unheard of in previous years; living with roommates in her own apartment. Still under the care of Nexus, Aurora blossomed exponentially! She had decades of employment with companies such Goodwill Industries, Portex Industries, Shaw’s Supermarket and Stop and Shop. The decades brought a number of roommates and apartments, day services with new opportunities and friendships, and then around the new century, Eddie Piro came into her life, soon becoming the love of her life. They had fourteen years of love, friendship, and companionship with all the challenges and joys relationships bring. Aurora experienced the long years of independence under the tutelage and guidance of Nexus staff who helped her navigate the complexities of adulthood with respect for her capacities and the devotion of family.
In 2015, Aurora barely survived serious illness at the same time her beloved Eddie passed away. Thankfully, Aurora was able to move into a warm and welcoming home with four housemates and an abundance of skilled, kind, committed staff. She had 24-hour support, her health stabilized, and she was able to enjoy almost a decade of community, friendship and the peace and pleasures of daily living. She loved going to the library, listening to music, karaoke, puzzles, games, and she was known for the colorful blankets she crocheted for people she cared about.
Aurora loved to tell people that her mother named her after Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.
She lived that mantle well, entering a room with flair and the expectation of being treated as royalty! May she have found the welcoming arms of Her beloved Eddie when she passed. Those of us left behind will never forget her.
She is survived by her brother, Ricky Brown, of Woburn, and her “chosen” family of friends and caregivers that accompanied her throughout her remarkable life.
Her calling hours will be January 5th, 2024 from 10am to 11:30am with a funeral Mass to follow at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 280 Main St., Woburn at 12 PM. Arrangements are by the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St. Burlington Ma. www.sulivanfuneralhome.net
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050