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I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. This forum can be a good place to share stories and celebrate the life of a Golden.
As far as your color question, the color of the parents has a strong influence on the color of the puppies, but sometimes you get a pretty big range of colors in a litter. The color of the tips of the ears is the best indicator of the color the dog will darken into.
I should say, though, that color is about the last thing you should consider when picking a pup. The quality of the parents (including health certifications), the breeder's practices, and the temperament of the pup himself should all take precedence.