Nature 19

Nadine Bourelly Tankson

November 11, 1963 ~ December 13, 2021 (age 58)


Nadine was born in Chicago, Illinois, the second of four children of Thomas and Sheila Bourelly.  Even as a child, Nadine showed a precocious interest in music.  At the age of three, she would climb onto the piano bench and play songs with chords using both hands, while singing the melodies.  As she grew and studied music, her talents as a musician, lyricist, songwriter and performer developed as she worked in the studio with many well-known musicians and entertainers.  But more than anything else in the world, Nadine was a devoted mother to her two sons, Jason Bourelly and Larry Tankson.  They occupied the center of her life interest and personal ambitions and decisions.

Nadine’s work history included teaching preschoolers attending Head Start Early Development programs located in the Chicago Housing Project where she had a great fondness and concern for the children in her care, and for their parents.  She was particularly interested in family nutrition which led her to collect recipes with the intent of developing a food preparation and planning program for young families.  Following her work in preschool programs, Nadine began to train and work as an Immigration and Customs officer and supervisor for the Department of Homeland Security in Chicago.  She later transferred to Philadelphia and moved to Bensalem, Pennsylvania.  She took an early retirement from that position on her birthday in 2021 after 18 years of employment with the department.  Nadine passed away unexpectedly on December 13, 2021, only one month following retirement.

Nadine is survived by her two sons and daughters-in-law; Jason and Kimberly Bourelly, along with their son, Jason Jr. (J.J.), her only grandchild whose every wish she wanted to fulfill; Larry and Gabriela Tankson; her mother, Sheila Bourelly; her sister and brother-in-law, Marina and Alain Liautaud; her brothers and sisters-in-law; Joseph and  Latisha Bourelly, along with their children, Gizelle, Elise and Cybil Bourelly; Edward and  Cheryl Bourelly, and their children, Zoe and Maya Bourelly; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.  Her father, Thomas Bourelly, preceded her in death August 16, 2018.

We love and miss Nadine, and grieve that she is no longer with us, but we also have a faith-filled understanding that like the butterfly - symbol of transition and transformation - Nadine is eternally “free to be”, while she lives on in us through the love we have for one another, and the memories of her that we cherish.

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