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Nadine Rae Thilagaraj

February 15, 1977 September 13, 2016
Nadine Rae Thilagaraj
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Obituary for Nadine Rae Thilagaraj
Nadine Rae (Nelson) Thilagaraj, 39, of Highlands Ranch, CO, passed away on September 13, 2016 at Sky Ridge Medical Center, Lone Tree, Colorado.

Nadine was born February 15, 1977, in Bismarck, ND to Frances Bosch Nelson and William Nelson. She grew up as the youngest of seven children, one of which, Michelle, describes Nadine as, “fiercely independent, self-reliant, capable, and hyper-organized.” Nadine’s devotion to family was apparent early in life. Her sister recalls preparing to go out with friends during her college years, when Nadine, five years old, freshly bathed and in her nightgown, said she’d come too. When her sister pointed out she was in a nightgown, she stated matter-of-factly, “well, I’ll put a belt on!”

As independent and self-sufficient as she was, Nadine was exceptionally giving to others. She attended college at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND, and was very active in Habitat for Humanity. In 1999, she obtained her B.S. in Hospitality Management and Business Administration and went on to become the Assistant Director of Finance for Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

She was meticulous in the care she took with her career and personal life. Her family, friends, and colleagues could always count on her to return calls immediately and take action when necessary, and she never forgot a birthday card to each one of her dozens of nieces and nephews.

In July 28th of 2006, Nadine and Thilagaraj (Raj) Gopalan exchanged vows in a traditional Hindu wedding in the USA. The following year, on February 11th, 2007, they had a traditional Hindu wedding reception in INDIA, followed by a traditional Catholic wedding on June 15th, 2007 in USA. Nadine and Raj shared a very special bond full of humor and true friendship. Her husband, Raj, describes her as vibrant, caring and loving, with the most infectious smile. Her dedication to her family led her to often put others’ needs before her own, and she deeply valued trust –– both in God and in her loved ones.

Nadine immersed herself in travels throughout Italy, India, Mexico, France, Germany and more, but she was just as apt to enjoy a night in with a home-cooked meal and an episode of Wheel of Fortune or Golden Girls.

Nadine is survived by her spouse, Raj Gopalan and his family, and her family; her mother, Frances Nelson; siblings Lori (Charles) Cagaio, Michelle (Norm) Sitz, Bill (Marna) Nelson, Al (Kim) Nelson, Elaine (Frank) Goldman, Kristen (Gene) Matsutani, and more than eighteen nieces and nephews.

The Funeral Mass is scheduled for Tuesday, September 20, at 10:30 AM at Light of the World Catholic Church, 10316 West Bowles Ave., Littleton, CO.

Donations in Nadine’s memory may be sent to Light of the World Outreach/Social Concerns.
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Funeral Service




10:30 AM 9/20/2016 10:30:00 AM
Light of the World Catholic Church

10316 West Bowles Avenue
Littleton, CO 80127

Funeral Mass.

Light of the World Catholic Church
10316 West Bowles Avenue Littleton 80127 CO
United States

Memorial Contribution

Light of the World Catholic Church

10316 West Bowles Avenue
Littleton, CO 80127
Attention Outreach/Social Concerns

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