October 14, 1932 ~ May 20, 2020

Born in: Los Angeles, California
Resided in: Fremont, California

Nick Stratigopoulos

October 14, 1932 – May 20, 2020, Fremont, CA

Nick Stratigopoulos, 87, passed away on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, after a 21-year battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Nick was born to John and Katina Stratigopoulos in Los Angeles, CA, on October 14, 1932, and was raised in Torrance, CA and Oroville, CA. He had two brothers, Gus Stratigopoulos (Eleni), deceased, of Saratoga, CA, and Bill Vasiliou (Jackie) of Fairfield, CA. He spent his early years living in Torrance, CA, in a modest house his father built. As a small child, he worked cutting flowers and selling magazines to help the family make ends meet. When his father died when he was a young child, his mother remarried George Vasiliou, and the family moved to Oroville, CA. Nick graduated from Oroville High School in 1950 as a star athlete in Football, Boxing, and Tennis. He graduated from Chico State University in 1954, where he was a member of the Lambda Pi fraternity and was inducted into the Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame in those sports. He hitchhiked the 20 miles to Chico and back every day since the family did not own a car. He spent the next two years in the Army, mostly in Germany, where he worked in a hospital but was really there to play on the base football team. While in Germany, he became best friends with John Sferes from Maine, and John invited him to stop and meet his sister Esther on the way home. They met, and he married Esther on December 29, 1957, in the Holy Trinity Hellenic Orthodox Church in Portland, Maine. Nick and Esther moved to Fremont in 1957, and Nick started his 35-year teaching career at Washington High School, where he coached football (with the legendary Bill Walsh), basketball, and tennis along with teaching business courses and originating and coordinating a Work Experience Program in multiple Fremont high schools. With this job, he got to know everyone in Fremont. He was present at almost every Washington High sporting event for over half a century. Upon retirement, he was presented with a letterman’s jacket inscribed “WHS #1 FAN”. Their son George was born in 1958 and daughter Cathy in 1962. Nick was an exceptional husband, awesome father, loving Papou (Grandfather), and friend. He was a role model and always present for his family. He served over 50 years in the Niles Rotary, the Order of Ahepa, and as a member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. He loved playing tennis and played as long as he could as a member of the Glenmoor Tennis Club. He volunteered countless thousands of hours to maintain the tennis courts. He could start a conversation with anyone at any time, and he did. His smile was incredible. He loved his family, friends, and acquaintances with passion. He taught us all to have gratitude for what you have. He was very religious to the very end. Although on Sunday mornings, he was more likely to be on the tennis courts for four hours rather than in church. He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Esther; son, George (Diane) Stratigopoulos; grandson, John (Meredith); and daughter Cathy Stratigopoulos. May his memory be eternal. Private graveside service and interment will be held Friday, May 29, at 12:00 pm at Mission City Memorial Park in Santa Clara, CA. Donations may be made to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 986 Chapman St., San Jose, CA 95126.

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  1. I was a student at Washington in the early years Nick starting his teaching. He was a wonderful person to be around. Loved his smile and laugh. Each time I saw him after I graduated, he would always make me feel like we were friends forever and that no time had passed. I just wished that I hadbeen in contact with him more often. He was a large part of the great coaching staff at Washington high in the late fifties. So many memories and happy times. Not soon forgotten. Bye Nick, and I am grateful that you were part of my life growing up.

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  2. My deepest sympathies are extended to Esther and the entire Stratigopoulos family on Nick’s passing…we began as acquaintances on the tennis court ( where he was a Fremont legend ) and our friendship grew over the years with even more tennis, at A’s baseball games or at Rotary luncheons …Nick’s life was full of accomplishments, a wonderful family and many, many friends…he will be greatly missed…Al Mueller

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