Murdo MacKinnon Nicolson of San Mateo, California, peacefully passed away at home on June
17, 2018 with his family beside him. He was the second born son to his parents Victoria and
Murdo in Hong Kong, China.
At the age of 5, he moved to San Francisco, while his father was a prisoner of war in China. He
attended George Peabody Elementary in San Francisco and King George V Form school in Hong
Kong, where he met several lifelong friends. His parents felt he was just a little young at 16 to
attend CAL, so he was enrolled at Washington High School for one year. Here his sporting
talents took off as he gained keen interest as a footballer, basketball, baseball and an track and
He was a walk on football player at CAL where he also became a rugby star. During this time
period he played in two Rose Bowls and several Big Games with Stanford, where he met his
best friend Don Peter. Prior to enlisting in the Army for two years during the Korean war, he
had been recruited to play for several NFL teams. Fortunately for him, he played baseball for
Fort Lewis for two years in lieu of combat duty. After his honorable discharge from the Army,
he attended Golden Gate University where he obtained his degree in Accountancy and became
a CPA for Barney and Smith Accountants, then joined his family business Ralph Larsen and Son
until he retired in 2012.
In 1965, he married Norine Whalen of Wisconsin. They lived in the Haight-Ashbury district until
1967, when they moved to the Benito House in Burlingame, where they had two children,
obviously named Murdo and Victoria after his parents. Coincidentally, their first house was
across the street from his long time rugby mate Don Peter.
Prior to his retirement from rugby 1981, he had played rugby for the following clubs: Old
Blues, Ramblers, Peacock Gap, Old Gaels, BATS, Olympic Club, SF Seniors, Bald Eagles and was
the Treasurer of the NCRFU. This is when Murdo became deeply involved in the Tongan
Community of the Peninsula, as he was a devout supporter of youth rugby, specifically
Burlingame HS Rugby Club, Tongan Yankees and San Mateo RFC.
Murdo is survived by his older brother Dr. Ian Marshall Nicolson, his spouse Norine Whalen
Nicolson, his children Murdo MacKinnon Nicolson Jr and Victoria Elizabeth Nicolson
Hornblower, his grandchildren Victoria Elizabeth Nicolson, Murdo Alekisio Nicolson, John Barry
Nicolson and George Kenneth Nicolson.