In Memoriam; Ab Leonard

Published on July 5, 2020


Ab Leonard (NY)

We are truly sorry to announce the passing of Abbey Leonard on June 17, 2020. Abbey was a long time member of NISOA serving as a National Referee and Instructor. Abbey was elected to the NISOA Hall of Fame in 1996 and served the NISOA family as President in 1995-96. Abbey leaves behind some great memories of working with referees and a constant approach to better the game. He had a unique ability to introduce humor into his lesson plans while getting to the heart of the lesson. For many, we will remember another love of his (Golf) at the National meetings this was always a time to look forward to our association and interaction off the pitch. Abbey leaves behind his wife Loretta who often accompanied him to the National meetings and his son David. Arrangements for a celebration of life are pending.

Special thanks to NISOA Hall of Fame member and former NISOA President Mike Allen (OR) for the kind words of remembrance.

4 Responses to “In Memoriam; Ab Leonard”

  1. Gouverneur, NY has lost it’s most notable person. Ab was truly an inspiration for so many years, to so many young college soccer referees in Upstate NY. His on the pitch presence controlled a game with accurate application of the rules, calm demeanor, and common sense decisions. He had the ability to hold the attention of a room when giving rules interpretations or holding court afterwards at social functions. He always had time to answer questions. Many of us have great memories of Ab in these situations. Play golf with him and you came away with stories to last the season. Ab was instrumental in the growth of NISOA. Jim Miller, Binghamton, NY

  2. Abby was a great man who loved NISOA. He was a fantastic instructor and a dear friend. In spite of the tricks I played on him at conventions, like auctioning off his putter, he always laughed and went along with the group. By the way he bought his putter back when we auctioned it off to raise money for the Foundation Fund.
    He and Loretta always demonstrated what the NISOA motto was Family First. He will be missed but his memory will always be with me and many others.

  3. AB….We had so much fun over so many decades…”washy-washy” joke would bring down the house. You will see Ray B. soon and so many others, Larry King, Mario D… many…and you left us with so many memories.

    I love you, man

  4. NISOA has lost a Legend legend.
    When Ab was at at an Interpretation before the season begins he always emphasized when you officiating a college game you apply the NCAA rules to the letter in the spirit of the rules.
    You also do NOT use the FIFA/ IFAB laws of the game or the NFHS soccer rules when you officiate a NCAA match .
    An all ways though that the NCAA rules and the NFHS rules were better for the student Athlete and the FIFA laws of the game , the laws were to generalized and the FIFA laws of the game had a lot of “ grey areas “ for the Student athlete student athlete in the United States