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Gillooly Funeral Home

126 Walpole Street, Norwood, MA

OBITUARY

Michael C. Nicolaou

August 30, 1931January 29, 2020

Michael C. Nicolaou of Norwood, MA, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at the age of 88. Born on August 30, 1931 in Suez, Egypt, he was the son of the late Constantino & Evdokia (Finikiotis) Nicolaou. Michael grew up in Egypt and was raised in the Greek culture by his loving parents. He was among the first Egyptian citizens to earn a PhD (Mechanical Engineering) from the University of Alexandria in the 1950’s, being handed his degree by President Gamal Abdel Nasser. He continued with post-doctoral research in the United States at Purdue in the 1960’s working on US government research projects. He applied for a green card then, but his visa expired and he was forced leave “the greatest country in the world,” and move to Canada, where his sister Evangelia and husband Michael took him in until he secured a position teaching at the Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS) in Colombia. In 1974, without speaking a word of Spanish, he moved to Bucaramanga, Colombia to begin his tenure. There he met the love of his life and wife of 45 years, Elvira Reyes Gonzales. He continued to teach at the UIS until 1979, when, without speaking a word of Portuguese, he accepted a position teaching mechanical engineering and thermodynamics at the Universidade Nacional do Brasil (UnB) in Brasilia. In 1986, he was granted sabbatical to continue his post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, realizing his life-long dream to once again live in the greatest country in the world. In 1987, he and his family settled in Norwood where he enjoyed watching his children be actively involved in the community. In 2010, at age 79, Michael earned his second PhD, this one in Material Science, from Northeastern University. Along with his wedding, the birth of his four children, and earning two PhD’s, one of the proudest moments of his life was becoming a United States Citizen in 2004. Michael was fluent in Greek, Arabic, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and French. He held several patents derived from his life-long pursuit of knowledge and research. He enjoyed old films and songs, was an avid swimmer and was petrified of dogs. Loving husband of Elvira (Reyes Gonzales) Nicolaou. Loving father of Constantino Nicolaou & his wife Cynthia of Boxford, Luis G.T. Nicolaou & his wife Nancy of Medford, Evdokia Pallang & her husband Nicholas of Norwood, and Felipe Nicolaou of Somerville. Devoted brother of Evangelia Papadouris & her husband Michael, Mary Nicolaou, and the late Teophilo Nicolaou & his surviving wife Maria. Cherished grandfather of Evangelia, Alexander, Abigail and James. Relatives & friends are invited to attend visiting hours in the Gillooly Funeral Home, 126 Walpole St., Norwood on Sunday, February 9th from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place in St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 547 Washington St, Norwood on Monday, February 10th at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow in Highland Cemetery in Norwood. In lieu of flowers, donations in Michael’s memory may be made to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Services

  • Visitation at Gillooly Funeral Home Sunday, February 9, 2020
  • Mass of Christian Burial Monday, February 10, 2020
  • Interment following Mass Monday, February 10, 2020

Memories

Michael C. Nicolaou

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Jeanne Bedar

February 3, 2020

We are so sorry to hear of your loss. His wonderful children grew up with my sons, especially Lee. Jeanne and Andy Bedar

Lorraine Butler

February 1, 2020

I don't know you I'm so sorry to hear about your husband passing
He is now resting in peace may god be with you and your family you Are all in my prays always remember the good times you had with him

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY