Colette Nicholson died quietly June 14 at her childhood home outside of Nevada City while under the care of her family and Hospice of the Foothills. She survived primary pulmonary hypertension by undertaking a heart and lung transplant in February 2005.

She will be cremated at Hooper & Weaver Mortuary in Nevada City, and her ashes will remain at her family’s Nevada City home. A potluck gathering at North Columbia School House will take place at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, June 22 to honor her.

Colette was born April 11, 1976, in Grass Valley. After graduating from Nevada Union High School in 1994, she became aware of her illness. In spite of this, she studied at Sierra and Butte Colleges and earned her master’s degree in speech and language pathology at Chico State. She taught special needs children in Sonoma and Nevada counties, generating the love and respect of students, families and colleagues alike. Her transplant allowed her to live a nearly normal life and pursue activities which she hadn’t been able to do for so many years. She loved snowboarding, snorkeling, hiking and traveled to Germany, Spain and her beloved Hawaiian Islands. Colette embraced the fact that she could run and play with the children she loved so dearly

Colette’s beauty and grace touched many lives, and she will be truly missed.

She is survived by her parents, Steve and Carol Nicholson of Nevada City; brother, Daniel Nicholson of North San Juan; sister, Nicole Eandi, brother-in-law, George Eandi and nephew, Logan Eandi, all of Hayward; grandparents Norma and Fred Timby of Rescue, Ralph and Carol Nicholson of Tucson, and Virginia Hammond of Grass Valley; and numerous family and friends.

She was preceded in death by grandfather, Lawrence Hammond.

A college scholarship fund will be set up as a tribute to her life.

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