By Albert Eugene Pekary

Albert Eugene and Jean Pekary, who met at I-House in 1968 and married the following year, were delighted to receive an invitation to attend a Valentines Dinner Dance. We came in anticipation of finding old friends as well as learning about other couples who have been enriched by the challenges and rewards of developing and sustaining an international relationship.

Jean Nicolas Pekary was born and raised in the Philippines by Nicolas and Filomena Nicolas, co-founders of Northwestern University in Laoag City, Philippines. She came to UC Berkeley to pursue a Ph.D. degree in microbiology. Eugene, born and raised in Santa Monica, CA, was a graduate student in biophysics. In 1970, with our first child, Dianne, we moved to Caltech in Pasadena for Eugene to start work as a Research Fellow. We now have two grown daughters and have lived in Culver City, CA for the past 25 years.

At first, we could not recognize anyone from our time at I-House. Then, as we were about to find our places at the dinner tables, someone who had just arrived began to excitedly call out "Jean, Jean!" Eugene and Jean approached the lady who began calling Jean's name. To our surprise, it was Tanyan Nguyen Lim, a very good friend of Jean's who also lived at I-House in 1968. Jean could not recognize Tanyan immediately because she remembered Tanyan as a young, innocent girl from Vietnam with long straight hair. Tanyan has changed to a sophisticated and mature woman with very curly hair. Jean was like Tanyan's big sister. How the two hugged and hugged and had so many stories to tell. They had not seen each other for thirty years. Since their Valentines reunion, Jean and Tanyan have been communicating with each other constantly by phone, letters, and e-mails. What could be a more perfect place for two dear friends to reunite than I-House?


From left: Benito Lim (IH 1969-'70), Tanyan Nguyen Lim (IH 1968-'69) Executive Director Joe Lurie, Jean Nicolas Pekary (IH 1967-'68) Albert Eugene Pekary (IH 1965-'69).

  About I-House | Alumni Relations | Programs & Activities | Event Facilities