Sunday, November 15, 2015
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and refreshments will be served.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
She was a vibrant, vivacious, and beautiful girl who was a delight to everyone she met. Nia was a beloved daughter and doting big sister who treasured every moment that she was with the family she loved. She will never be forgotten.
Nia’s journey actually began long before her birth when her parents, Nils and Zena (Santos) Vos found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, they were married on April 29, 2010. It was the day after her birthday that Nia’s mother discovered that they were expecting, which was much sooner than they had anticipated. Within 10 minutes they had settled on a name for a baby girl, and it was at that moment that Nia was the most important part of her parents’ world. Had she been a boy, she would have been named Noah. Although the pregnancy went off without a hitch, or even any morning sickness, the birth was a bit more eventful as Nia Santos Vos made her arrival on June 12, 2011, after a 24 hour labor that ended in a cesarean section.
Weighing in at a healthy 8 pounds, six ounces, and 21 inches in length, Nia soon came home with her parents. Her father worked in purchasing at Denso Manufacturing while her mother worked as an administrative assistant in the office at the Kalamazoo County Drain Commission. As a baby Nia didn’t like to be swaddled, but she loved being near her mom and dad so she just slept in bed with them. In fact, she continued sleeping in bed with them for the rest of her life. When she was about 10 months, the Vos family moved to their current home.
Even at a young age, Nia was a little girl who knew what she wanted. She was very bright and social with a personality that was magnetic. By the time she was 18 months, Nia was picking out her own clothes, and all her clothes always had to match with pinks and purples being among her favorite colors. She loved wearing dresses, and after getting home from daycare she ran upstairs to put one on. Then Nia could usually be found twirling and whirling around in it as she spun around the room! She had an extensive vocabulary, too, and one of her first words was “caterpillar” when she was about two. Nia did spend some time doing things like playing with dolls, but she much preferred to be engaging with people as she just loved to talk. She had her own ideas, knew the rules and what was expected of her, and loved giving instructions. Nia did have quite the personality, too, as she was generally rather good natured and had a great sense of humor, but she did punch two boys at daycare on one occasion after they had been picking on her. She chose to take a timeout as punishment rather than apologizing since she didn’t feel she owed them an apology! Her great grandmother would've been so proud of her.
A young girl with many interests, Nia was always keeping busy. She loved reading and looking at books. It was Nia’s nightly ritual to read the Cat in the Hat before bed every night, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar was also a favorite. She liked to dance, was learning how to sing, and was forever making up her own songs. Music from Frozen as well as “Story of my Life” and “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction were her favorite songs. Nia’s parents also exposed her to ‘80s music, classics from Styx, and even took her to Island Fest. Because Adele was one of her mom’s favorites, Nia also liked “Rolling in the Deep.” When singing, she really got into it with her facial expressions and movements, and she just loved her karaoke machine. Nia was simply passionate about singing! She didn’t watch too much television, but she did like watching Dora, Diego, Octonauts, My Little Pony, and Bob the Builder. When it came to her favorite foods, Nia liked chicken, broccoli, and rice as well we french fries, chicken fingers, and the Filipino foods that her mom made. Durian was a favorite Filipino treat. Although it is rather stinky, she loved it, but she was a fruit lover and was always sure to eat her fruits first.
All who knew Nia would agree that she was a bundle of energy. She loved being outside doing things like sledding in the winter and heading to the apple orchard in the fall. Of course during the warmer weather Nia loved going to the playground near her house, kicking and throwing balls, or coloring with chalk and blowing bubbles on her own driveway. Walks to the neighborhood pond were a favorite, and Nia checked the water temperature with her finger. She took ballet class and was looking forward to swim lessons. When she was only 18 months, Nia became an expert traveler when she went to visit her mother’s family in Davao City, Philippines. She loved meeting so many new family members and was also baptized there. In 2014, they also went to The Netherlands where her father is from. Wherever she was, Nia liked to be in the middle of it all like when she was out partying on the dance floor among all the adults. She was also known to be a photo bomber as she ran across the room to get in the picture!
Nia was always all about family. She was so excited to learn that she would be a big sister, and she was over the moon excited when her brother finally arrived in September of 2014. Nia always wanted a brother and was usually so gentle with him.
Just one week before her fourth birthday this past June, Nia and her loved ones were devastated when she was diagnosed with an aggressive and inoperable brain tumor for which nothing could be done. Even through her suffering, she had a smile and positive outlook. Her true joy could be felt in every single one of her many hospital rooms.
With her long, wavy, golden brown hair and her big brown eyes, Nia Santos Vos was totally captivating. Her true beauty was so much more than just her physical appearance as her inner beauty is what drew others near. She loved butterflies and Tinker Bell, playing outdoors and reading, but nothing was better than being with the ones she loved. Taken from her loved ones too soon, Nia’s memory will remain forever near and dear to the hearts of all who were within her reach.
Nia Santos Vos, of Galesburg, died on November 12, 2015. Nia’s family includes her parents; brother, Noah; grandparents: Pedrito and Floresita Santos and Jakob and Marianne Vos; aunts and uncles: Chona Santos, Noven and Irene Santos and their daughters: Norene and Yang-Yang, Ivy Santos, and Dexie and Cathy Santos and their son, Nolan. Nia was preceded in death by her uncle, Emil Vos. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments on Sunday from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 375-2900 where services will be held Monday 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will follow in the Life Story Center. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her guestbook. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Hope4Youth Cancer Foundation.