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Madsen Norgaard Nikolas

July 19, 1994 ~ July 20, 2018 (age 24)


Our beautiful son, Nik, met his tragic and untimely death doing what he loved. He was traveling in Colombia to learn Spanish when the Jeep he was in had a roll-over. Parents Pam and Lars, and brother Kristian traveled to Colombia to work with the police and authorities, and to bring Nik home to Napa. In Colombia, we were met with extraordinary kindness, in an extremely difficult situation. A testament to how Nik had touched lives there during his short visit.

Yesterday, Nik’s short, but extraordinary, life was celebrated by so many friends, family, neighbors, room mates, teachers, colleagues, and his girlfriend Sage. We gathered at UCSC for speeches, music, and lots of tears and hugs. Nik spread so much love and appreciation wherever he went.

Nik was born at QVMC, and grew up on Stonehouse Drive, in Napa, the only family home he ever knew. He went to Northwood, River, and Napa High schools, and then off to UCSC, where he majored in Biology. Before school started, he went back-packing on Wilderness Orientation (W.O.), where he formed many strong and lasting friendships and a deep love for all things natural. He became a volunteer and later a trip leader for W. O. and was very excited about returning for the next W.O. starting August 3rd. This passion lead to some amazing experiences with brother Kristian in Patagonia, and trips with friends and colleagues in Asia, Europe and the US. Facebook has lit up with condolences and sharing of stories. Many have shared their appreciation for his innate ability to listen deeply, and to accept people for who they were. One of Nik’s many passions was music. He had become an accomplished guitar player. ‘Jamming’ with friends, whether in the stairwell at the UC dorm, or on the porch at the Laguna House, was such a joy in his life. Those who have known Nik are blessed.

There will be an ‘Open House,’ celebration of Nik’s life at his family home Saturday, August 4th. from 2—6 PM.

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