The Gift of Nick Gonzales

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Nicklas Alan Gonzales – May 30th, 1977 – December 5th, 2006

Nick was the oldest son of Cindy (Gonzales) Villarreal and Tony Gonzales. Nick attended Mary Immaculate Catholic School in Farmers Branch, TX, then Coppell High School in Coppell, TX, graduating in 1995. Nick earned a BS Degree in Aerospace Enginneering from the University of Texas in Austin in May 2000. He always loved airplanes and rockets and turned his love of aerospace into his career working at Lockheed Martin, Fokker Aircraft and Bell Helicopter in the DFW area. Nick’s graduation from the University of Texas in Austin was also special as both his mom and dad had also graduated from UT in the 70’s.

Nick dearly loved and treasured his large family. As the oldest son, he always felt a responsibility to demonstrate leadership and support for his brothers and sister on their personal life goals. You could always count on Nick to jump at the chance to help you with anything – setting up a computer, hanging a ceiling fan, putting together a home gym, talking over a problem, anything.

Throughout his life, Nick believed in giving back and volunteered for events at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church during his early years and during high school, went on mission trips to Mexico with St. Ann’s Catholic Church to help with repairs to churches and schools. He thoroughly enjoyed these trips. During his college years in Austin, Nick and his wife Anne, volunteered with the St. Vincent de Paul Society in their downtown Catholic Church in Austin,helping those less fortunate with food, clothing and emergency cash. Upon relocating to the DFW area and purchasing a home in Flower Mound, they joined St. Philip’s Catholic Church. Nick became a member of the Knights of Columbus and was an adult mentor for the St. Philip’s Youth Group, affectionately known as the SPY Group. The youth group continues to honor Nick with a memorial to him in their meeting room and raised funds to purchse a brick in his name which was added to their outdoor meditation garden. Below is a picture of Nick in July 2006 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Coppell, Texas with 2 Nuns from the mission in Mexico at which he had volunteered. Nick and Anne were blessed with two little boys in 2002 and 2004 and life was almost perfect.

Nick was diagnosed with a Grade IV Glioblastoma Multiforme brain tumor November 25, 2005 at the age of 28. Dr. Bruce Mickey, neuro-surgeon with UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX. removed the cancerous right frontal lobe during an emergency surgery on November 28th. Nick then underwent radiation for 6 weeks, followed by the chemotherapy drug Temodar.

Nick’s tumor returned September 2006 in the left frontal lobe and was inoperable. He participated in a clinical trial for RTA 744, a drug that had been successful in treating breast cancer patients and had been reformulated to hopefully pass through the blood brain barrier and attack the cancer cells. The drug had virtually no affect on the tumor. Nick earned his Angel Wings early in the morning on December 5th, 2006.