Tell us about yourself

“A most fortunate Viking Alumnus”
Dear friends and fellow Alumni,
While reminiscing and contemplating what I have done in the past 50 years, especially after having graduated from Pacific High in 1967, I especially wish to convey my fond remembrances of the great wonderful years at our former High School and a place called San Leandro.
Since I plan to attend our upcoming 50th Reunion over a week, and hope that many of you will also honor with your attendance, I would like to take this opportunity to profess my sincere gratitude for having attended our High School as well as having lived in this city by the Bay; especially Floresta Gardens.
Influence and contribution!
Just bear with me as I would like to mention some personal and “historical” facts.
Being born in Indonesia, way back in 1948, my family and I moved in 1955 to the Netherlands. After many years in this country, my parents had a luminous idea of immigrating to the USA. An aunt and uncle previously immigrated to the Bay Area a year earlier. We, parents, brother Tony, sister Wendy and yours truly, subsequently immigrated to the USA in 1961.
Having that said, my family embarked on a long journey. We left our friends and family behind in April of that year and travelled by train to the shores of Calais, France. We boarded, crossed the Atlantic Ocean and got off the boat in New York near the end of May. Just like many immigrants before us! But, our journey was just at the half way point. Our destination was Oakland, Ca. Once again, we travelled cross country by train and finally arrived at a small train station on the border of Oakland/Emeryville (nearby Jack London Square) in May of 1961.
During our residency in Oakland, for just one year, something remarkable took place in 1962.
As immigrants, my parents were ecstatic of having been able to purchase a house somewhere, anywhere. But, of all places, with the name of San Leandro. So, once again, we moved.
We resided in Floresta Gardens - what a great neighborhood to live! As probably the first Dutch Indonesian new kid on the block, I attended John Muir Jr. High and made friends; you know who you are! Chris, Ray, Dan, George, Bobby, David, and many more.
Especially friends living nearby Carmel Way, Monterey Blvd., Anza Way, etc. Our “favorite” sport playground was a “practice” field at James Monroe Elementary School. It was here where we learned and practiced our fundamental skills, not only in various sports and play, but most importantly, friendship.
During these important formative years, I made several great and dear friends at John Muir and Pacific High. These friends helped me in many ways and were very supportive in my athletic and scholarly endeavors.
My sincere appreciation for what you all have done for me during these important and fun years. Furthermore, you have also been instrumental in my academic ventures. In just a few words; WOW - super (teen) years!
Today, while still living in the Netherlands (nearby Amsterdam) since 1975, I still cherish the memories of the sixties in San Leandro. What a fun time! I would love to rekindle and reveal many great anecdotes from these years, but time and space restricts me to just mention the fact that I had a great time! I haven’t forgotten it.

Please stay with me for a few more minutes and follow my path into adulthood.
After graduating from Pacific High School, I attended Chabot JC in the Fall of 1967 and participated in
both the football and soccer programs. Biggest highlight was our football (conference) championship
season in 1968. Made some more great friends, but, more importantly, I enjoyed College life as well
as the perils of pursuing an academic degree. As the oldest sibling in my family, my parents were my
greatest supporters of getting a college education. Even though I “skipped” many classes and was
frequently “residing” in the Student Center, I graduated in 1969.
With a couple of High School friends, I decided to attend Cal State Hayward in the Fall of 1969. I also
participated in the afore mentioned sports. An important and rewarding milestone, once again, was
our (Far Western) Conference Championship football seasons in 1969 and 1970.
I certainly enjoyed my 2-year tenure at Cal State. More importantly, I graduated with a BSc degree in
Physical Education. However, my sporting days were over and I had to make an important academic
decision.
With a little luck, a “reasonable” GPA at Cal State Hayward as well as an acceptable GRE test score, I
applied and was admitted to the Graduate Physical Education Program at UC Berkeley in January of
1972. During the academic year of 1972 and 1973, I received an Graduate Teaching Assistantship.
It is here that I started my professional teaching career. I was also an assistant Soccer coach for the
UCB team. In June of 1973, I graduated from Berkeley with an MA degree in Physical Education.
Once again, being confronted with an important decision in my young professional and adult life, I
had to make another important decision. What would be my next step? What were my aspirations at
that time? I wanted to embark on my next academic challenge, pursue a professional education
career, do research, teach at the college/university level as well as coaching soccer.
With these thoughts in mind, I applied and got accepted to one of the most prestigious Universities
in the world. Not to mention the fact that it was not too far from home and just across the Bay from
San Leandro.
During the ensuing years of 1973 to 1975, Stanford University granted me an Graduate Teaching
Assistantship to pursue a PhD degree in Education; with a specialization in Curriculum Development
and a minor in Cultural Anthropology.
But, something happened in my personal life in 1972.
Like many American students who just graduated from College, Chris Savory and yours truly went on
a well-deserved vacation trip to Europe in the summer of 1972. After staying a few days In London,
we crossed the English Channel to go to mainland Europe. Chris travelled throughout the continent
and we would meet each other again at the end of our vacation in the Netherlands (Holland).
I, on the other hand, had not been to Holland in about 11 years since our immigration to the US and
decided to stay with family in one of the smallest countries of the world. And, during this stay, while
visiting a family member, I met a delightful young lady, Ruby Linda, for only about 45 minutes.
I had to curtail our pleasant conversation and had to visit another family member. A few days later,
Chris and I went back to the States. Upon returning to San Leandro, I subsequently corresponded
with Ruby the “old way”; writing letters, per airmail. Not e-mail!

While attending UC Berkeley in the Fall of 1972, I had the opportunity once again to go back to The
Netherlands during the Christmas break. This time to do research in Amsterdam and Leiden for my
Master’s Thesis. Naturally, Ruby and I got to know each other better and I invited her to come to
California in the summer of 1973. Since my summer break lasted longer than her vacation, we
returned to Holland where I asked her to marry me. To make a long and “beautiful” story short,
Ruby accepted my proposal and we got married in August of 1974. Today, we are still happily
married for almost 43 years.
We have two children. Our daughter, Priscilla Bianca, born in 1976, graduated with a law degree in
Dutch Taxation from the oldest University (Leiden) in Holland (founded in 1575). After having worked
for many years as a senior manager and Dutch Tax law expert, our daughter recently (October 2016)
gave birth to a beautiful (a common expression of every grandparent) healthy son.
We finally became grandparents! Our grandchild was born in Dubai due to the fact that our son in
law has been stationed there for 2 years as CFO of a pharmaceutical company. Just recently, they
moved to Singapore and will be residing there for the next 3 years. This means, that my wife and I
will be traveling quite a bit. Since last year, we have flown to Dubai (3 times) and will be going to
Singapore for the Christmas holidays.
Our son, Michael Daniel, born in 1978, is a talented person but was always a “dreamer” during his
school years. He has worked for me for a number of years. Since 2010, Danny has been employed in
the Security Department of the Rijks Museum (State museum) in Amsterdam; Rembrandt most
famous painting, The Night Watch, can be admired here. He is currently married but has no children.
Still waiting for the next grandchild!
As mentioned before, our marriage took place in the summer of 1974. We moved to San Leandro
and resided in my parents’ home. I continued my graduate work at Stanford and had to make one of
the most difficult decisions of my life in 1975. My wife could not “adjust” to the California lifestyle
and was basically homesick; she missed her family in the Netherlands.
In the spring of that year, I confided to my professors that I would finish the course work but
discontinue writing my doctoral dissertation. As a matter of fact, I graduated from Stanford
University in 1975 with an additional two Master degrees in Education and Cultural Anthropology.
We subsequently moved to Holland in June of 1975.
Life in Holland?
Somewhat difficult in the beginning, but challenging!
“Re-learning” the Dutch language, especially the grammatical part, adjusting to Dutch life with their
peculiar customs and cultural diversity, I immersed myself into the Dutch way of living with vigor.
Reflecting back, the integration and assimilation process, I guess, was quite successful!
During the first year in Holland, I worked at different jobs as a ‘temp’ and was anxiously awaiting the
evaluation of my previous course work in the States. In May of 1976, the Dutch Ministry of Education
granted me a professional title based upon my graduate work at the aforementioned Universities.
As a result of this professional recognition, I landed my first (professional) job as Curriculum
Coordinator for the National Sports Federation for the Mentally Retarded.
To summarize my professional career, I have been a pretty busy person and have accomplished the
following: after my first professional appointment, I taught PE at various schools, was a movement
specialist for the handicapped and had various higher management positions. During the midnineties,
I started as a (small) business owner/entrepreneur and co-founded several Health & Fitness
Centers.

Furthermore, I also co-founded a company in the Security sector. As Managing Director for the afore
mentioned companies, I was responsible for more than 200 personnel.
Lately, more specifically since 2016, I kind of “slowed” down because our daughter and her family
have been living in Dubai and now in Singapore. We want to see our grandchild more often.
Currently, even though being 68 year of age, I still own a couple of companies in the Security and
temporary employment placement sector. It keeps me “young” and provides us with an additional
financial supplement to my Social Security and pension benefits.
Living in this country since 1975, I have been very fortunate that my wife did not have to work after
giving birth to our first child. As a woman and mother, she had the most enviable but most difficult
task for raising our two children and “controlling” a busy husband.
As a family, we have also been fortunate to explore the neighboring European countries. During the
many school vacations, we frequently visited countries such as Belgium, Germany, France, Italy,
Austria, Switzerland, Yugoslavia and Spain. Naturally, we also visited California during the summer
vacations and stay with family in the Bay Area.
As a result of this travelling, members in my family speak at least three languages; which is also
mandatory for Dutch youngsters during their high school years. I, on the other hand, command the
Dutch and English language sufficiently and can get by with German. As our children became adults,
our family vacations during the year was skiing in the winter and golfing in France, Italy and Spain. In
the evenings, we especially enjoyed a good glass of wine.
In summarizing these past 50 years, I can truly say that I am a blessed person and fortunate man with
a great family. I made the right decision back in 1975 to come to this country.
Life has been wonderful and hope to extend it with many more years.
But, once again, I haven’t forgotten the many pleasant moments and friends during my years at
Pacific High and San Leandro. I hope to see many of you at the Reunion in Pleasanton next week.
Sincerely yours,
Nico Futterer



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