Nicholas Verni-Lau
Nicholas Verni-Lau
Nicholas Verni-Lau

Obituary of Nicholas Verni-Lau

Obituary Ft. Collins, CO — Nicholas “Nick” Verni-Lau (Sep. 24, 1985 - Nov. 4, 2022) Nicholas “Nick” Verni-Lau, 37, of Ft. Collins, Colorado, passed away due to complications from diabetes on Friday, November 4, 2022. Nick was born in Rockford, Illinois on September 24, 1985 to Gary (Lau) and Barbara (Verni) Verni-Lau. He graduated from Boylan High School in 2004 and received his Bachelor of Science in Cultural Anthropology from Illinois State University in 2008. Nick was a loving son, brother, uncle, and friend who left a lasting impression across Illinois, North Carolina and Colorado. He followed in family footsteps in multiple ways. Nick demonstrated a creativity for cooking and love of sharing meals. Experiences that extend directly from regularly joining his dad in search of the perfect ingredients, weekly family breakfast gatherings, along with the many summer afternoons spent enjoying tomato salad, sweet corn and chicken at the home of his grandparents. He doted mischievously on his niece and nephew Nora and Baxter. Invoking the many Christmas Eves he and his brothers and cousins spent together, trying (and always failing) to stay awake all night. The youngest of three brothers, Nick was, for a time, the baby of his extended family, and received all the attention and joy such a role entails. He brought that same love and enthusiasm into his own role as Godfather to his niece, Chloe, staying engaged even while living in a distant state. With a friendly competitive spirit, Nick shared his love for the Chicago Cubs, Bears (and really, all Chicago-area sports teams) enthusiastically with friends and family across the country. Sunday afternoons rooting for the Bears remained a particularly special time spent with those he loved. He could be just as generous sharing his love of music and regularly enjoyed playing guitar. Nick also found a like-minded community and an additional outlet for his competitive spirit in the playing of multiplayer video games. His interests remained broad, his curiosity and thirst for experiencing the most in life never wavered, and Nick left a real and lasting impression in every community with which he participated. Nick also demonstrated a commitment to social justice in all aspects of his life, a reflection of the example set by his parents and family in his youth. He committed his professional career to supporting those experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness throughout Colorado. From spending nights connecting directly with populations living on the streets of Denver, to serving as Executive Director for Outreach Fort Collins, and beyond, Nick’s compassion for the population he served and commitment to building solutions changed individual lives and entire communities in meaningful and lasting ways. The CDC estimates that 37.3 million Americans live with diabetes. When Frederick Banting, James Collip and Charles Best co-discovered insulin in 1923, they sold the patent to the University of Toronto for $1 with the intention that the medicine be made freely available to all who need it. Today, for the uninsured and those with poor coverage, a month's worth of insulin can cost, on average, $1,000 per month. This results in 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. with diabetes regularly skipping, delaying or using less insulin than needed in order to save money. Though diagnosed with diabetes at the young age of two, Nick never let the disease slow him down. Those who love him take comfort in knowing that his tenacious spirit will continue forward in the good works which endure as a result of his efforts. The many we know of, and the countless others that will remain between him and the lives he touched. In his memory, the family asks that you do one thing today to make the world a better place, then tomorrow do another, and keep going everyday thereafter. There are no shortcuts. Nick is survived by his grandmother Prudy Lau; parents Gary and Barbara Verni-Lau; brothers Joseph and Timothy (Sarah) Verni-Lau; great uncle Jerry LaVoy; aunt Judy (Mike) Kersch; aunt Cheryl (Phil) Rainwater; aunt Phyllis (Peggy Patty) Lau; uncle Victor (Kathie) Verni; uncle Craig (Patricia) Verni; goddaughter and niece Chloe Verni-Lau; niece and nephew Eleanor “Nora” and Baxter Verni-Lau; and many cousins. He is preceded in death by his grandfather Virgil, grandparents Guido and Lillian Verni; great aunt Dot LaVoy; and cousins Dan Vestal and Steve LaVoy. A remembrance of Nick’s life will be held on Thursday, December 1 at Fitzgerald Funeral Home (3910 N Rockton Ave) from 4-7pm with a short service held at 6:30pm. Burial will be private. A GoFundMe has been created to assist the family in alleviating funeral and related expenses: Any GoFundMe donations that exceed the total expenses will be donated to homeless outreach in Nick’s honor. Additional memorials in Nick’s memory may be given to Outreach Fort Collins, Rosie’s Birthday Club, or any organization dedicated to dog rescue. Friends are invited to share a memory of Nick and sign the online guest book at: Services
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A Memorial Tree was planted for Nicholas
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Vessey Funeral Service - Fort Collins
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