Meral Göksel, 88, of Kendall Park, NJ died on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Her daughters were by her side.
Born as Hannelore Möller in Bad Oldesloe, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany on April 25th 1930 she completed her nursing education with a specialization in pediatrics and was employed ultimately as a head nurse by the German Red Cross. As a young nurse, she was selected in 1953 to help establish the German Hospital in Pusan, Korea and the Hacettepe Children’s Hospital in Ankara, Turkey in 1957. There she learned Turkish and was given the task by the esteemed Prof. Dr. İhsan Dogramaci of educating doctors and nurses on the importance of pediatric nutrition and care.
During her time in Turkey, she met and ultimately wed her husband Prof. Dr. Adnan Göksel in 1960. A few months later, upon her husband’s reception of a Fullbright Scholarship to Michigan Technological University they moved to Houghton, Michigan. Upon the completion of the scholarship, they returned to Turkey in 1963 and were invited back by MTU in 1965 where they remained until 1992. Following the birth of her first grandchild, she and her husband moved to and remained residents of New Jersey.
Meral Goksel was an active member of the community in Houghton where for more than 10 years she volunteered as a tutor in the Houghton Elementary School and was a member of the Copper Country Chorale. As long as her health prevailed, she was a voracious reader, had a wicked left hand in tennis, enjoyed baking, and loved to care for her garden.
She instilled in her children the importance of always doing one’s best, doing what’s right and was always her children’s biggest fan. She continued to be the confidant of many dear friends from around the world and traveled internationally until the age of 86. Despite her declining health she never failed to set and achieve new goals. Two days before her passing and after months of training, she rose from her wheelchair and walked back and forth across the kitchen to the delight and amazement of her family.
Her childhood and young adulthood in wartime had taught her that there were always people worse off and as a result she was grateful for the life she was given, was wise far beyond her years, stoic in the face of adversity, capable and disciplined in her ambition. She never shared an unkind word (DJT excepted), never uttered a complaint. She loved to laugh and sing, and was fluent in three languages. In her final hours, she proudly stated that she had been blessed with a happy and full life, four wonderful grandchildren and had even gotten to hold her great grandchild.
She is predeceased by her husband, Prof. Dr. M. Adnan Goksel in 2002 and eldest daughter Gul S. Goksel in 2017.
She is survived by her daughters, Nesrin Avci and her husband Selcuk of South Brunswick/Kendall Park; and Sibel Cedetas and her husband Burak of Istanbul ,Turkey; granddaughters Leyla Bortnowski and her husband Michael of Pennsauken, NJ, Aylin Avci and partner Patrick Grundy of Philadelphia; and grandsons Cem and Kaan Cedetas of Istanbul, Turkey and great granddaughter, Adrianna Rose Bortnowski of Pennsauken.
A Memorial Visitation will take place at the Costello-Runyon Funeral Home, 568 Middlesex Avenue, Metuchen, NJ 08840 on August 5th, 2018 at 3:00pm followed by a repast dinner at the Istanbul Restaurant in North Brunswick, NJ. Please visit their website to leave condolences (www.costello-runyon.com).
In lieu of flowers, donations in Meral Goksel’s memory to St. Jude’s Research Hospital would be appreciated. (www.stjude.org)