Ray Wolfe is only one of four Life Members of Eastern New Youth Soccer Association. (Photo courtesy of ENYYSA)

Former referee and administrator Ray Wolfe, who passed away July 11, has been named a Life Member of Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association.

Wolfe became the fourth Life Member of the organization at its Annual General Meeting in Nanuet, N.Y. Aug. 5, joining Peter Collins, Peter Masotto and Howard Rubenstein.

The ENY board of directors unanimously voted honoring Wolfe to the list.

“We are very happy to honor Ray Wolfe,“ Eastern New York President Richard Christiano said. “He gave tirelessly of himself for decades as a player, coach, referee and administrator. With Ray, it was always about the kids!“

A native of Ridgewood, Queens, Wolfe started playing for the Kolping Soccer Club and B.W. Gottschee in the German-American Soccer League (Cosmopolitan Soccer League). He coached his son, Ray Jr., while he played for Gottschee in the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League. Wolfe has another son, Michael.

Wolfe began his officiating career in 1985 after he and his family moved to Franklin Square, N.Y. He quickly moved up the ranks from pee-wees to Long Island Junior Soccer League youth games to amateur, professional and international matches. Wolfe officiated the World University Games in Niagara Falls in 1993 and did so well that he was assigned both a semifinal and the final. Two years later, he served as an assistant referee for the U.S. Interregional Soccer League ’s nationally televised championship game between the Long Island Rough Riders and Minnesota Thunder.

He also stood out as a high school and college ref and was honored as the 2000 official of the year in the New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association.

Wolfe also was a trustee for the New York Soccer Referee Association for many years. In 2009, he received a promotion to State Youth Referee Administrator and canvassed the Empire State to develop Eastern New York’s youth referees until his retirement earlier this year.

Wolfe’s wife Hilda was a longtime Eastern New York staff member who was honored as the 2002 Region 1 administrator of the year. Ray and Hilda have been inducted into the Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Fame. Only one other husband-and-wife team, Phil and Bessie Lamonica, are Eastern New York Hall of Famers.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.