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GHILOTTI, NANCY MOTTA  
Nancy Motta Ghilotti Nancy Motta Ghilotti, a long time resident of San Rafael, a generous and compassionate spirit, friend and mother, transitioned into the afterlife and into the loving arms of her son, Dino Ghilotti, on July 14th, 2015. She was 57. She is survived by her beloved husband Richard Ghilotti, daughter Michelle Ghilotti Mandel, son Willie Ghilotti, son-in-law Josh Mandel, daughter-in-law Rochelle Ghilotti and grandchildren Jayden Ghilotti (12), Nolan Mandel (10), Vivian Ghilotti (3) baby Dino Ghilotti (1) and loving family in Guatemala including three sisters, a brother and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded by her father Rafael Motta, mother Stella May, stepfather Joseph May and son, Dino Richard Ghilotti, who received his wings on May 12, 2013, after graduating from the University of Miami. Nancy was born on January 22nd, 1958 in Guatemala City. Often referred to as "the city of the eternal spring" because of Guatemala City's perfect temperature all year-round, this was Nancy's favorite type of weather. Guatemala is an ancient, diverse and exotic country she lovingly called home. As a child, she possessed a contagious smile and sweet sense of humor. From a young age, Nancy was an avid reader (hello, Nancy Drew) and loved school. In 1979, she moved to the United States with her mother, stepfather, daughter Michelle, and son Willie to start a new life in California. Nancy continued her education at San Francisco State University and then worked in sales at the famous Mark Hopkins Hotel. In 1986, Nancy met her husband Dick on a blind date in San Francisco. They fell in love and were married in Napa Valley in 1988 and went on to create a loving, close-knit family through a 30-year relationship that was based on love, respect and mutual understanding. Their yin and yang approach to life made them a solid and soulful match. Together, they were the perfect couple that family and friends celebrated life with for over three decades. In 1991, Richard and Nancy added a beautiful baby boy to their family, Dino Richard Ghilotti, who was known as the 'fireplace' of the family. To accommodate the growing family, Dick and Nancy built a beautiful home in the San Rafael hills overlooking San Pablo Bay. This welcoming home was known amongst family and friends as "Club G". It became a place where many family gatherings were celebrated, such as birthdays, engagements and graduation parties. Nancy's enthusiasm and talent for party planning made these events extraordinary because of her signature gifts of creativity and attention to every single detail. One thing is clear her zest for life spilled over into memorable events that were talked about for years to come. Above all else, Nancy's greatest passion in life was her family. From a young age, she raised three children to be compassionate, social, giving and positive-minded contributors to society. It was no mystery that Nancy was a fiery and fun force to be reckoned with when it came to her loved ones. Nancy's loyalty was to her family, no matter what circumstance, and she made sure that she gave them as much love as possible. Her love for her family was shown in plans for family fun: celebrations, vacations, making gifts extra special, taking photos (lots of them!), and recently, playing "Ring Around the Rosy", meditating, sinking backward overhead basketball shots and hiking with her four grandchildren. She was an incredible and one-of-a-kind GRANDmother, and known as "GiGi" to her grandchildren. Nancy was also a lover of animals, and proud dog owner of Preemo, Clifford, Carmelo and most recently Roo, Dino's dog from Miami, whom she and Dick adopted into their lives two years ago. Throughout her life, and even through the grief over the last two years in losing her youngest son, she maintained her vibrant personality and had a daring and energetic demeanor that inspired the minds and touched the hearts of many. She, as many have shared with her family, was teaching others to reflect on life's challenges with a tenacity and spirit, similar to hers. Until her passing, she remained a fervent cheerleader of education. She sent all of her children to the best schools. After Dino's passing, she honored Dino's life and legacy by starting The dg Foundation, giving youth who may otherwise not get the chance to receive a quality education and the opportunity to attend San Domenico, Marin Catholic and University of Miami. The family is proud to announce that Nancy will join Dino as an honoree of The dg Foundation. To learn more about the foundation, please visit www.thedgfoundation.org . Nancy is remembered by her children and grandchildren as hip (oh so young and hip), a woman who was always up for anything, and a mother and grandmother who always, no matter what, put family first and never took no for an answer. She is remembered by her family in Guatemala as a generous woman with an infectious smile who belted the lyrics of her favorite songs and as a jokester who, in the funniest way mixed Spanish and English, in her most expressive moments. Her favorite places and best memories in the world were made on family vacations in Cabo San Lucas, Lake Tahoe, Guatemala, Italy, Miami and most recently India, where she and her husband Dick vacationed for a month. Before and after her trip to India, she discovered herself in a new light embracing spirituality, spiritual healing and selflessly helping others who were grieving as well. The family would like to thank everyone who has shown their love, support and compassion over the past two years, and especially the last few weeks. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of the ever-energetic family woman, Nancy Motta Ghilotti, can be made to The dg Foundation, 296 Margarita Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901. A rosary will be held on August 5th at St. Raphael's church in San Rafael at 6:00pm. The funeral mass and Nancy's celebration of life will be held at St. Vincent's School for Boys in San Rafael. Mass will be held August 6th at 11:00 a.m. with the reception immediately following. Arrangements under the direction of Monte's Chapel of the Hills in San Anselmo.
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Published in Marin Independent Journal from July 27 to Aug. 3, 2015
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