Large image
Her Life

Candice Nicole - a dreamer and a lover

May 24, 2017

Candice Nicole was born a dreamer and a lover. Her journey on this earth began on Easter Sunday, April 22, 1984 in Englewood, Colorado. Growing up, she had an insatiable curiosity for life and the people in it. She built strong friendships in childhood, something that continued throughout her life.

As Candice grew, so did her personality and interests. She fell in love with music, especially the Beatles – something she learned from her dad. She also loved punk rock, something she shared with her sister, going to concerts and dancing in the mosh pits. From the day she turned 18, tattoos became a personal way of individual self expression and art. She was also very close with her brother as they were only 14 months apart in age. She studied hard and graduated from night school at Horizon High a year early.

After graduating, Boulder, Colorado called to her as home. There, she reveled in the mountains and loved to walk down Pearl Street, always mindful to drop a few bucks in the street performer’s tip hat. It was also there that she was also provided a remarkable gift of life—the birth of her precious first baby, Diego Lennon, on Christmas Day, 2003.

While in Boulder, Candice discovered the joy of serving others through a warm cup of coffee, which ultimately directed the trajectory of her life. Candice’s life was not without challenges during this time, but none of them proved insurmountable.

Through her brother, she met her future husband Michael Bellino, and so began the next pathway along her journey as a military wife. The now family of three moved to the Marine Corps base in Yuma, Arizona, which is where they welcomed the birth of a beautiful baby girl, Violet Skye on September 15, 2008. In 2012, the family moved across the country to Eglin AFB in Florida. Just like in Yuma, Candice quickly found a circle of friends, which became her forever family.

Warm cups of coffee continued to follow her heart and she began working at the Café Liquid coffee shop as a barista in the neighboring town of Niceville. It was there that Candice fully blossomed. The café became a second home, a place of love and community—a true mirror of her own heart. She was soon given the unbelievable opportunity to make a life-long dream a reality—to become an owner of a coffee shop—Café Liquid. She did so with full dedication and soul.

It is said that Candice evolved Café Liquid as a centerpiece of Niceville. A place where a diverse cross section of the community could always find her with open arms, a warm seat and a warm drink, made to order by memory. Candice also used the opportunity as a small business owner to give back to the community. She did so with tremendous heart and compassion.

She remained strong during this time, always mindful to have a smile on her face, no matter what. She even became interested in photography, a hobby she shared with her mom. She opened her home to many animals as well, including her little fur babies Charlie, Freddie and several cats, Mr. Speedy the turtle and even hedge hogs. During the last part of her life, Michael and Candice separated, but dedicated all their efforts toward co-parenting their amazing children. It was during this time that she reconnected with a Colorado connection from the past—Rico Gonzales. The love that they shared is eternal and everlasting.

On May 19, 2017, our sweet, sweet Candice passed away. One of the Beatles quotes that Candice cherished was, “All you need is love”, and she truly dedicated her life to loving everyone in her life to the fullest extent possible. She was a beautiful mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and community leader. Diego and Violet will always be the center of her universe, whether it be here on earth or in the heavens.

Candice is survived by her two children, Diego and Violet;  soul mate, Rico; father William Mast and stepmother Maria; mother Jill Tarver and stepfather Tom Tarver; sister Holli Keyser, brother-in-law  David, and nieces Amelie and Elise; brother Jeremy Mast, sister-in-law Krystyn, nephews Gage, Gunnar, Ganon, and niece Gibsyn; brother Billy Mast,  and sister Leia Mast. She will be loved and missed forever.

In her honor, please consider donating to the New Beginnings Animal Sanctuary in Niceville, Fl; Crosspoint Women's Group in Niceville, Fl; Safehouse Progressive Alliance in Boulder, CO or a charity of your choosing.