Dino Ghilotti Jr.
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Dino Ghilotti Remembered as Charismatic, Warm and Giving Dino Richard Ghilotti was an original from the day he was born - January 6, 1991 - Three Kings Day in Greenbrae, California at Marin General Hospital. As the "CAPTAIN" amongst his friends, he sailed into the afterlife on May 12, 2013 in Miami, Florida, his college home for the last four years. He is survived by his parents Nancy and Richard Ghilotti, siblings Willie and Michelle, brother and sister-in-law Josh Mandel and Rochelle Ghilotti, nephews Nolan Mandel, Jayden Ghilotti, niece Vivian Ghilotti, his aunts Linda Ghilotti and Diane Ongaro, cousins Brian and Amy Ongaro and their children Claire and Andrew, cousin Shannon Ongaro, and longtime friend and nanny, Ana Taracena. Dino is also survived by an extensive family in Guatemala ~ aunts and uncles Kena and Wolfgang Godecke, Rosemarie and Fernando Porras, Barry and Stella Johnston, and Rafael Motta. He is also survived by a large group of cousins and second cousins. Dino is predeceased by loving relatives: his grandfathers Dino Ghilotti, Rafael Motta and Joseph May; grandmothers "Oma" Stella May and "Nonni" Yolanda Ghilotti (he was the twinkle in their eyes); and uncle Rich Ongaro. Dino grew up in San Rafael and was named after his late grandfather, Dino Joseph Ghilotti. He attended grammar school at San Domenico and graduated from Marin Catholic High School. He attended University of Miami where he graduated with a degree in Business. From the time he was young, Dino loved to play basketball, just like his father and grandfather. Some of the best game memories were from St. Raphael's where his father, two aunts and cousins had attended grammar school. His speed and athletic ability would later lead him to starting positions on the Marin Catholic Wildcat basketball and football teams. His love for football would eventually surpass his first sport. In his senior year he was named All League Defensive First Team at defensive back, All League Offensive Second Team at wide receiver, and All Purpose player. But beyond the physical, it was the person he was that is remembered most. "He was one of those guys who lights up the room when he walks in. He was a charismatic, confident, outgoing young man and one of the leaders of our team. There was never a day off for him," said a former basketball coach. A similar sentiment is echoed as loudly by friends and family, professors, art and design teachers and fraternity brothers. Former football coach Ken Peralta said, "He was a really special guy. That youthful exuberance you like to see in kids - he had a way of letting that light shine through his eyes." From the time he was a baby, Dino also had that sparkle and was running circles around his two teenage siblings. "The relationship created between the three of us was as special and unique as it was fun. He was a love and we were so protective of him. In many ways, he was as much our son as he was our little brother," says his sister, Michelle Ghilotti Mandel. We loved making him laugh, dancing with him, taking trips and talking to him on the phone after he went off to University of Miami. He was the glue that brought us all together." His mom Nancy said, "It was one of the happiest days of my life when at 10:25pm, a beautiful brown-eyed baby boy was born into our family. His birth truly solidified our blended family into one." Dino grew up traveling. Family trips to Europe, Latin America, all throughout the United States were commonplace throughout his young, high school and college life. Two of his favorite places to vacation with family and friends were Lake Tahoe and Cabo San Lucas. "My little guy loved hotel rooms and room service, especially dry Rice Krispies with strawberries," says his mom, Nancy Ghilotti. Going to college was no different. Dino was an adventurous spirit. "Heading off to University of Miami for college in 2009 was a trip he was ready for and excited about," shares his father, Dick Ghilotti. And in a note to his sister just one month before his passing, Dino said "I've learned a lot about myself in the last four years and am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to go to Miami. It has been an experience that put the finishing touches on the man I am and will become." Beyond being an incredible friend and student, at University of Miami he continued to tap into his creative passions. He graduated with a major in Business Administration and a minor in Graphic Design and for the last few months of his Senior year, he spent four hours every school night working on his ceramic and glass blown art in the U of M art studio. He was extremely talented. "He absolutely loved it," said his girlfriend Allie Meyer. Dino started to work at the family business, Ghilotti Construction Company, by riding along with his dad when he was six years old. He was fascinated by the machinery and, as high school approached, he worked summers as a laborer. This initiation was exactly as his father had experienced. Though the family is devastated at the loss of a young man that danced, joked and loved with all his heart, they find comfort knowing he touched so many lives. "It's been so evident and profound to see how many people knew Dino and loved him and appreciated his smile and the time he took to listen to their problems and make their day better. The hundreds of tributes, words and memories we've heard from so many young people he affected during his time at the University of Miami has been incredibly moving," says his father. "Just as Julius Caesar came, saw and conquered," said his brother, Willie, "so, too, did Dino, even when his life was cut short. The quote "Veni, Vidi, Vici" reminds me of my younger brother because he lived to the fullest all the time. God now has another mission for him, I truly believe that." His family recognizes the unique time they spent in Miami leading up to his graduation and passing. "Four days of celebrations, complete with loving speeches from good friends and family that came from California, Guatemala and Cabo San Lucas was a beautiful way to celebrate and recognize him before he left us," recounts Nancy, his mom. "During his life, we made sure to tell him how important he was to us, and the week leading up to his graduation was no exception. Dino brought me back full circle to the city where I spent much of my childhood, and for that I am eternally grateful. I truly believe his life here on earth was complete at only 22 years old and that bigger and better plans await him in heaven," she says. The family plans to make Dino's favorite places a constant in their lives. Meals at Marin Joes, trips back to Miami, Lake Tahoe, Cabo San Lucas, Europe as well as participating in the teams he loved such as the 49ers, Giants and Warriors will all be a big part of the Ghilotti family. All of this, they say, will be done while keeping Dino close and remembering the handsome, charismatic, warm and giving son, brother and uncle he was. Dino's service will be held at St. Raphael's Church in San Rafael Friday, May 24, 2013 at 1:00PM, and afterwards we'll remember his life with swagger, Dino-style at Marin Catholic at 2:30PM, Greenbrae, California. There will also be a rosary Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 7:00PM at St. Raphael's Church in San Rafael. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the University of Miami - Dino Richard Ghilotti Motta "Canes Care for Canes" Scholarship Fund. Please mail contributions to University of Miami: P.O. Box 025388, Miami Fl 33102-98111. All donations are tax deductible. Monte's Chapel of the Hills, San Anselmo 415-453-8440

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Published in Marin Independent Journal from May 18 to May 23, 2013.
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Memories & Condolences
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41 entries
May 12, 2020
Sending love and thinking of you Michelle and family.
Fatima Silva
Friend
May 30, 2013
I feel your pain. I too, lost a son in a similar situation. I have not met you, but I do know some of your community. I am so extremely sorry for the loss of your beautiful son. I have been praying for your family.
Janet Hutchinson
May 29, 2013
Ghilotti Family,

My name is Alexandra White, and my heart rests heavy as it pours out to you with love. Dino was my younger brother, Hayden's, big brother in Pike. He helped Hayden grow into a kind, caring, and soulful young man. Although no words will take away your loss, I can only hope that you will someday be comforted in knowing what a positive impact Dino made on Hayden's life. Please know that your son helped mold my little brother into the young man he is today. Whenever the Miami kids brought up Dino, they did so with a smile on their face and an enduring, unadulterated light in their eyes. Although my heart is heavy and aching for you and yours, I wish you peace, strength, and love during these most difficult times. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for raising my brother's angel.
Alexandra White
May 27, 2013
How sad to lose such a talented, loving son at what seemed to be the beginning of his life. I am sorry for your tragic loss.
Annette Adams
Annette Adams
May 27, 2013
I just heard, thinking of you.
Dan and Penny Sullivan
May 25, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers to all your family. Jim & Sally Kruse
May 24, 2013
There are no words for a loss like this. I can only think God needed help and Dino was who he needed! I pray the pain lessens, with time, and try to find comfort in knowing your Dino will never ever be forgotten !!
May 24, 2013
Dear Nancy and Dick and the entire Ghilotti Family. It is so hard for me to express the sadness that I feel for your loss. Dino was the light and soul of your family, I saw it every time he would come into a room and I would watch the light in Nancy's eyes. Everyone, everyone loved him. May God Bless you and your family at this time of great sorrow and know he was as loved as a person could be.
Diane Faris
May 24, 2013
Nancy & Dick my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your loved ones. Dino is with the angels now. He was certainly loved while he was here
Kelly Strain
May 23, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers to your family.
DeAnna Siri-LaFave
May 23, 2013
May his beautiful face continue watching over you all from above.
Noemi Gurian
May 23, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Monica Massa
May 23, 2013
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Ghilotti: Several members of our parish and school have expressed their sadness at your loss. Our prayers are with you, and we will be offering Mass for your son Dino next week, as you mourn his sudden and tragic death. May God comfort you and your whole family during this very sad time. The students and adults of St. Hilary are praying for you all - and for Dino.
Father William Brown
May 23, 2013
Dear Nancy and Dick,
We join with so many others who ache with you over the loss of Dino. May your hearts be warmed by all your wonderful memories. Our sympathies to you and your whole family. Randy and Rebecca Wolf
May 23, 2013
What a beautiful statement his obituary is...........it has been said that only the good die young.That is the only way to explain his untimely passing.Rest in peace after living an all too short life.A life of love and laughter .
Lydia Stanfiled
May 23, 2013
Our thoughts & prayers to the Ghilotti family. We are sorry for your loss of Dino.
The Burge Family
May 22, 2013
Our prayers have been with you every day. May God give all of you; Dick, Nancy, Mish and family, Willie and family, all of His strength and peace in your hearts. Dino will live forever in the memories of everybody that knew him and spent even little time with him. We send you all our love.
Clarissa Garoz de Zambrano
May 22, 2013
FROM LEXUS OF MARIN OUR PRAYERS AND CONDOLENCES TO ALL THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS.MAY YOU FIND COMFORT IN THE MEMORIES THAT WILL ALWAYS LIVE FOR EVER.
May 22, 2013
I wish your family peace in your hearts ~ Vaya Con Dios Dino. Godspeed
Susan Sawyer Ravina
May 22, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Matt & Molly Randall
May 22, 2013
Dick, Nancy and Ghilotti Family. May you be Blessed with Peace & Strength.
Al Dalecio
May 21, 2013
I am so sorry for your incredible loss. I cannot make any of the services, but know you and the whole family will be in my prayers.
Susan Maino
May 21, 2013
please except our deepest condolences for your great loss

Chris, Lese and all the employees at
Pacific Coast Drilling
May 21, 2013
Dick&Nancy, Words cannot express feelings at this time but you are in my prayers...
Debbie DeSellier
May 20, 2013
To the Ghilotti Family:

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this time.
Margie Mariani
May 20, 2013
We were the family sitting in the suite next to your family on graduation day. We could feel your love and how proud you were as Dino walked and your whole family cheered him on. Words cannot express our feelings. We send love and our deepest sympathy.
Tim and Pam Gulla
May 20, 2013
Dear Ghilotti Family,
You are one of the most giving, down to earth families i have ever met. Please remember that Dino will never be forgotten. His spirit and passion for life will be with all of us for life. Love,Amy Weaver
Amy Weaver
May 20, 2013
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Liz Esformes
Parent Council Member
May 20, 2013
his final reflection in Photo class
My heart aches for your terrible loss, but know that Dino touched so many in his short 22 years. I cherish my memories of him in Photography class at MC; he stood out as a gifted, kind, charismatic young man, wise before his years but fun and funny and oh-so-full of life! I will remember him always, and thank you for loaning him to us for this chapter.
Laurie Reemsnyder
May 19, 2013
To Dick & Nancy. ~


The Cord

We are connected,
My child and I, by
An invisible cord
Not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord
That connects us 'til birth
This cord can't been seen

by any on Earth.

This cord does it's work
Right from the start.
It binds us together
Attached to my heart.

I know that it's there
Though no one can see
The invisible cord
From my child to me.

The strength of this cord
Is hard to describe.
It can't be destroyed
It can't be denied.

It's stronger than any cord
Man could create
It withstands the test
Can hold any weight.

And though you are gone,
Though you're not here with me,
The cord is still there
But no one can see.

It pulls at my heart
I am bruised...I am sore,
But this cord is my lifeline
As never before.

I am thankful that God
Connects us this way
A mother and child
Death can't take it away!

I truly love you both.
??Gail Guevara
May 19, 2013
To Dick & Nancy~


The Cord

by Unknown Author

We are connected,
My child and I, by
An invisible cord
Not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord
That connects us 'til birth
This cord can't been seen

by any on Earth.

This cord does it's work
Right from the start.
It binds us together
Attached to my heart.

I know that it's there
Though no one can see
The invisible cord
From my child to me.

The strength of this cord
Is hard to describe.
It can't be destroyed
It can't be denied.

It's stronger than any cord
Man could create
It withstands the test
Can hold any weight.

And though you are gone,
Though you're not here with me,
The cord is still there
But no one can see.

It pulls at my heart
I am bruised...I am sore,
But this cord is my lifeline
As never before.

I am thankful that God
Connects us this way
A mother and child
Death can't take it away!

I truly love both of you
?? Gail Guevara
May 19, 2013
His memory will forever be in your hearts and all the laughter and joy he brought to you. God lend you an angel and he has called him home, where he reigns with the most high...but his spirit will forever live through every person he touched during his short visit here on earth.
Fatima Silva
May 19, 2013
There are no words to express my sadness and sorrow... Vaya con Dios Dinito, precioso! Dick and Nancy, rest of famiglia, Dino was truly loved. His spirit will remain with us all, forever. R.I.P.
Rosa M. Cabezas-Gil
May 18, 2013
While I did not know your son my son Chris was one of Dino's Pike brothers. Because of this I know first hand how very much he was loved by his Pike family. I truly believe he will live in my son's heart for as long as he lives. While I cannot possibly tell you why God needed to take someone so special away from you or offer words that can heal your pain I want to say your son and your family have deeply touched my heart and will be remembered in my prayers.
deborah dietz
May 18, 2013
All I can say is God needed another Angel. Dino inspired and touched more lives in his 22 years than people do in a lifetime!! He may not be here physically on earth but he'll be shining an eternity in heaven. Nancy and Dick you did an amazing job raising such an incredible human being Lots and lots of love being sent to you and your family and all Dino's wonderful friends Love you all and with all my love xoxoxo
Susan Del Prete
May 18, 2013
Dick & Nancy: Our thoughts are with you forever.
Craig & Junior Vickers
May 18, 2013
Craig & Junior Vickers
May 18, 2013
What to say ..God needed another Angel he touched more lives and inspired more people in his 22 years than people do in a lifetime..He was one special young man. Nancy and Dick you did a heck of a good job raising such an incredible human being xoxoxo to you and all the family and friends. He will be missed on earth but shine for an eternity from Heaven Love you
Susan Del Prete
May 18, 2013
We are so sorry for your loss...Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers....
Steve and Mary Ann Marsili
May 18, 2013
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. God's speed to Dino.
Marie (Ghilotti) Shaeffer
May 18, 2013
Dino, You will be missed very much ! Love you brother
Alex Goff
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