Ray Wolfe (standing left) and wife Hilda (sitting left). (Photo courtesy of Michael and Joy Lewis)
Long-time referee and soccer official Ray Wolfe passed away Wednesday.
Wolfe began his refereeing after he and his family moved to Franklin Square, N.Y. in 1985. He started in the middle in pee-wee games and quickly moved up to youth games in the Long Island Junior Soccer League to amateur, professional and international matches.
He worked the World University Games in Niagara Falls, N.Y. in 1993. He impressed officials that he was assigned a semifinal and the final, a rare occurrence at any level of soccer.
In 1995, he was a linesman for the U.S. Interregional Soccer League championship match, in which the Long Island Rough Riders defeated the Minnesota Thunder for the title, 2-1, on a late goal by current Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese.
Wolfe, who was a trustee in the New York Soccer Referees Association, also worked as a high school and college game official and was honored as the 2000 official of the year by the New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association.
In 2009, Wolfe became New York State Youth Referee Administrator and looked to find and develop future game officials, until his retirement last year.
Wolfe’s wife, Hilda was Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association office manager for two decades. She and Ray have been inducted into the Eastern New York Soccer Hall Fame. She also was honored as the 2002 Region I administrator of the year.
“Ray will truly be missed by all!,” ENYYSA said in a statement on its website. “Our deepest sympathy to the Wolfe family!”
Wolfe is survived by his wife Hilda, his sons and families.
His family was alongside Wolfe when he passed away peacefully.
Visitation hours at the Franklin Funeral Home is Friday from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. The funeral home is at 42 New Hyde Park Road, Franklin Square, N.Y. 11010.
Funeral Mass will be held at Ascension Lutheran, 145 Ave., Franklin Square, N.Y. 11010, Saturday.
There will be a private cremation Saturday.