Evelyn Gill served New Jersey youth soccer and U.S. Soccer. (Photo courtesy of New Jersey Youth Soccer)

CHICAGO – Evelyn Gill, a long-time youth soccer administrator who spent more than 30 years in service to the game in the United States at the local, state and national levels, has passed away.

Gill was 79.

A member of U.S. Soccer’s Board of Directors for almost 10 years as a Youth Council representative, it was a fitting position for a woman who began her involvement as a volunteer in youth soccer at the grassroots level, helping establish numerous recreational programs in addition to coaching rec and competitive teams.

Gill was a former president of New Jersey Youth Soccer, where her work helped the game grow and to this day is still positively impacting the soccer-crazed state which has produced many elite players, including numerous members of the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams. She was a major factor in helping equalize funding for the Girls’ Olympic Development Program in her state.

“Evelyn was a tireless champion for kids and youth sports for her entire life and one of the true pioneers for the participation of women in sports,” U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. “Her selfless work over decades to grow the game will carry a positive impact for generations.”

Gill was chosen as secretary on the U.S. Youth Soccer Board of Directors in 1996 and held that position until she was elected vice president of the US Youth Soccer board of directors, a position she held for 14 years. She was inducted into the US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame in 2015.

While serving on the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, Gill led an effort in the early 2000s to improve U.S. Soccer’s risk management program. She was a member of the U.S. Soccer Committee for Disabled Athletes and the Credentials Committee and also spent time on the Governance Taskforce.

Gill also served as a liaison to Girls ODP, the National Soccer Hall of Fame, TOPSoccer, Soccer Across America and Registrars Committees.

Hailing from Newport, R.I., Gill attended Lake Forest College, 30 miles north of U.S. Soccer headquarters in Chicago. She enrolled at Lake Forest in 1959 and went on to earn four letters in tennis, captaining the team, and three each in basketball and field hockey. She was inducted into the Lake Forest Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978.

After earning her degree in history, she earned a master’s in physical education from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She resided in Lawrenceville, N.J. for the past 53 years.

Gill’s husband of 48 years, George, passed away in 2014. She is survived by her two sons and five grandkids, all of whom have been involved in the sport of soccer.

In 1985, Evelyn co-founded Prevention Education Inc (now PEI KIDS), a social service agency to promote and maintain a safe environment for all children. Remembrance donations may be made to: PEI Kids Inc.; 231 Lawrence Rd., Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.