Brodie James Nikolai
February 3, 2003 – May 8, 2019
On Wednesday, 08 May 2019, at the way-to-early age of 16, Brodie entered the gates of heaven as a result of complications from brain cancer that he battled with true courage, inspiration, humor and dignity since the summer of 2017.
Brodie was a loving son to his caring and devoted parents, Stoli and Katie Nikolai and the best big brother his three adoring younger sisters; Rylie (14), Brynlie (12) and Preslie (9) could ever imagined. He also leaves his maternal grandparents, Mike and Trish Newton; and his paternal grandfather, Dr. Tom Nikolai. Brodie is also survived by his Godfather, John Nikolai; his Godmother, Shane Gridley; his close friends Charles Heinbaugh, Andrew Poe and Tommy Berns; and numerous dear aunts and uncles, awesome cousins and scores of friends his life touched to make their lives that much better. Brodie was predeceased by his paternal Grandma Hilda Nikolai and Uncle Timmy, whom welcomed him into heaven with immense joy and open hearts.
As the first addition to a loving and nomadic Air Force family, Brodie lived in numerous locations since his birth at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada. For example, his next stop was Monterey, California where he captured the heart of his adoring “Aunt” Victoria Carns and was blessed with the birth of his first sister and best friend, Rylie Paige. Following his California stint, Brodie moved on to Anchorage, Alaska where he had several near-miss encounters with unruly moose while romping in his first taste of snow. In Germany, “Team Brodie” was completed with the arrival of his treasured sisters, Brynlie Katherine and Preslie Grace. Brodie also began his fluency in the German language, gained an attraction to Air Force values and learned the art of spraying his dad down with a high-pressure fire extinguisher as is the tradition after final flights in fighter aircraft. Now full of schnitzel, pommes frittes (German “French fries”) and European culture, Brodie entered the world of Alabama filled with college football fanatics and southern “twang”. After surviving Montgomery, Brodie truly hit his stride in our Nation’s Capitol Region while living in Springfield, Virginia. He developed lasting friendships with Charles, Andrew and Joschka, while further refining his German language and soccer skills as a key player on his 3-time championship soccer team. He also discovered his passion for firearms and hunting with trips to Wisconsin and his introduction to the Nikolai Deer Hunting Camp experience. Post-Air Force life found Brodie in Onalaska, Wisconsin where he met another best friend and true wingman, Tommy Berns while continuing to excel in soccer and enjoy the Wisconsin outdoors.
After his cancer diagnosis, Brodie made a tenuous road trip out to Colorado with his dad and best wingman ever, AF Chief Master Sergeant Phil “Wolf Chief” Robinson before being rejoined with Mom and his sisters a week later as he continued his cancer battle while living with his family in Uncle Patrick and Aunt Ashley’s house along with his three young and admiring cousins; Brice, William and Joseph. As horrendous as Brodie’s battle with cancer was, he beyond doubt thwarted its evil intent by touching, redefining, inspiring and changing so many lives during his nearly 2-year odyssey by bringing so many closer to his savior, Jesus Christ. The true testimony of the infinite love for Brodie and how he had such a redefining positive influence on so many was evidenced by the genesis of “TEAM BRODIE” that consisted of tens-of-thousands praying for him all over the globe; the many, many people who sent him cards, photos, packages, gifts, words of encouragement and inspiration; as well as all those who spent so much time and effort helping take care of his family during his roller coaster of a journey.
Brodie was truly a “one-in-a-billion” type of character. He was an avid sports and outdoor enthusiast and inherited his dad’s passion for the Green Bay Packers to the chagrin of his Denver Broncos-loving mother. He was an origami guru, an amazing sketch artist, avid video gamer, inspiring musical “beat boxer” and rapper extraordinaire, crack marksman with an itchy trigger finger, all-star soccer player, power tool enthusiast, humble humorist and just an all-around phenomenal Christian young man, son, brother, nephew, cousin, classmate, teammate and friend whose “kind soul” attracted the love and accolades of all.
Brodie was a dutiful son to his mom and dad and “best big brother ever” to his beloved sisters. He was also dedicated to his friends and cousins while demonstrating true compassion and kindness for all he met. He once revealed, “I feel people’s highest highs and lowest lows” - and his heart was incredibly big enough to accommodate and care for all – ready and willing at a moment’s notice, to drop everything to demonstrate the depths of God’s love.
Godspeed my son, your spirit was truly unstoppable and you will be forever missed.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Olinger Hampden Mortuary, 8600 E Hampden Avenue, Denver, Colorado with a visitation from 3-7 p.m. on Monday, 13 May 2019. Brodie’s Funeral Mass will be offered at 10:30 am on Tuesday, 14 May 2019 at Our Lady of Loreto Catholic Church, 18000 E Arapahoe Road, Foxfield, Colorado, with a reception immediately following at Our Lady of Loreto Catholic School.
- Visitation Monday, May 13, 2019
- Funeral Service Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Brodie James Nikolai
May 22, 2019
This was a photo of him and classmates in Onalaska Wisconsin
May 22, 2019
I met Brodie in Onalaska Wisconsin playing CRUSA soccer, we became close teammates and friends. We depended on eachother on and off the field. The year after I met him, he came to my school and he would always sit next to me, we talked about video games, summer plans and soccer. I'll always remember him having my back, I'll always remember his happiness and his smile, I'll always remember him bringing out the good in others. Brodie will always be in my heart and in the heart of many people here in Onalaska.
May 20, 2019
I had the blessing of welcoming the beautiful Nikolai family to Onalaska Middle School. Brodie and Rylie visited with me as they made their way through the transition journey. I enjoyed how Brodie shared his wisdom and sense of humor with the friendship group we developed. Brodie's smile that shined brightly helped others smile too. Brodie's deep sense of caring could be felt during any of our conversations. Brodie and Rylie always supported each other and talked so highly about each other... a wonderful brother and sister legacy. My prayers go out to all of you. Lorrie (School Counselor)
May 20, 2019
I was very lucky to have had Brodie and his sister in my TA at Onalaska Middle School. He was mature, respectful and full of wisdom. He touched the hearts of many students during his time at Onalaska. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family.
May 17, 2019
It’s easy to find nice people, and Brodie definitely was nice. It’s harder to find people who are genuine, and Brodie was very genuine. I’ve always heard of people’s eyes “sparkling” or “lighting up with joy,” but I’d never seen it until I met Brodie. He wasn’t a typical “nice new kid” at school. He was really funny and easy to talk to about anything. He talked in a way that made you giddy to hear what came next. It all came from a place of pure and awesome positive energy. By the way, these aren’t glossy, preserved-in-syrup memories. It’s just the way Brodie was. It’s the way he always will be when we think of him, and it’s why he’ll always be inspiring us to be better.
May 17, 2019
I didn't know Brodie for that long, but he drastically changed me and my friends lives. He was always so thoughtful, kind, and positive, he made us paper cranes, and I still have the pen he let me borrow. I met him through my math class in 8th grade, he was just the new kid then, I didn't know how much he was going to mean to me and my friends.
May 11, 2019
Doug, Katie, Rylie, Brynlie and Preslie
I remember how passionate he was when talking about hunting. It made my heart sing to listen to him and his cousins talk about the BIG BUCK they were going to get . He touched so many lives with all the hats he wore. He was a Son, Brother, Nephew, Grandson, Cousin, Friend and Teammate .
Our hearts are breaking and our Deepest Sympathy and Love go out to all of you..
Greg and Cousin Joyce
May 11, 2019
What a loss! We will never forget riding that scooter and our joint visits to Cox Farm. Brodie was such a smart, kind, and funny boy - so dearly loved and so very missed.
May 10, 2019
Will always remember the goofy, loud conversations the boys had while carpooling to school & the fun excursions we took, like to NYC & the kick golf place. Will always treasure those memories. Love & miss you Brodie!