By Michael Lewis
Eugene Bodenstein, the founder the Massapequa Soccer and Sport Shop who helped fuel the youth soccer boom in the 1970s that has been felt for many years, has passed away.
He was 86.
Bodenstein, better known as Gene to his family and friends, and his wife Fay established the shop in 1973 for the Massapequa, N.Y. area. That became known as a go-to soccer store for Long Island and even the East Coast.
Five decades ago, there were perhaps a handful of soccer stores in the nation that were well stocked and finding equipment and uniforms was difficult.
Not surprisingly, Bodenstein became an ardent soccer fan and also served as president of the Massapequa Soccer Club (Long Island Junior Soccer League). He and Fay were among the first inductees into the MSC Hall of Fame.
In 1998, Bodenstein was honored by the Long Island Soccer Football League for 25 years of service.
Fay, a Holocaust survivor, passed away in January 2016.
Gene Bodenstein is survived by his children, Alan, and his wife Jennifer, Helen, and her husband Yuri Fishman, and Mark, and several grandchildren.
A service is scheduled for the Star of David Memorial Chapel in West Babylon, N.Y. on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Burial will be at Wellwood Cemetery in Farmingdale, N.Y.
FrontRowSoccer.com will have a detailed story of Gene Bodenstein’s life later today.