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Ray Boss Tribute
By: Kevin Milsted
Photos by Marleen Van den Neste
webmaster@mocorunning.com
2017-02-17


Ray Boss, father, husband, and track official, passed away on Monday, February 13, 2017, as a result of a heart attack.

Arrangements will be held at Derwood Alliance Church, 16501 Redland Road, as follows:
Visitation: Sunday, February 19 - 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Memorial Service: Monday, February 20 - 11:00 a.m.



By: Kevin Milsted

I sought out stories and comments from officials, coaches, and former athletes. The responses were astounding in quantity and quality. Please excuse the great length of this tribute article. So many people had so much to say.

The Commissioner of track and field officials has two primary duties: 1. Ensure adequate staffing is assigned to officiate local track meets (in this case usually MCPS dual meets, the county championship meet, and usually regional meets and some invitationals); and 2. Ensure track & field officials are adequately trained and certified. As an extension of those duties, the commissioner also strives to recruit new officials, and of course, the commissioner has always been an official himself and is often assigned the duty of meet referee, the highest authority at any given meet. Ray Boss embraced all of those duties, but in many ways, he rose above and beyond the call of duty.

Ray Boss created a new duty upon assuming the role of Commissioner of Officials for Montgomery County Track & Field in 2014. He created an annual award for track & field officials and named it in Jim Vollmer's honor after the previous commissioner of 30+ years tragically passed away. Boss believed that track & field officials should stay in the background as much as possible, but once annually, he wanted to honor an official who went above and beyond what was required of him or her.

Moments before he presented the Official of the Year Award in 2016, he told the crowd in attendance what the requirements were to win the award. In hindsight, everyone agreed that Ray unknowingly described himself that day.

"Ray exemplified those things," said fellow track official Warren House. "Those four or five things he said that day - that described Ray's participation in track & field to the 'T'."

First and foremost: "Know your event. Know your craft," Ray said at last June's end-of-season track & field officials picnic.

"You have to be a team player," he said. He described how some officials traveled to far off regions of the state on short notice.

Lastly and most importantly, he believed that the best officials dealt with athletes and coaches with fairness and respect.

"You have to enjoy high school kids," he said in 2016. "We're there to officiate and make sure everything is fair. But there is a right way to do that and a wrong way to do that."

It was this last point for which Ray was best known. Over the last three days since the news of Ray's passing, I have been innundated with stories in which Ray not only executed his duties as an official respectfully, he also freely spoke to athletes of all ability levels to offer encouragement and kindness.

"We are not supposed to care who wins," he rightfully told me once.

He probably did not care who won, but he cared about people. He cared about track. He silently rooted for improvement and amazing performances. His devotion to officiating landed him a front row ticket to more amazing accomplishments on the track than probably anyone in Maryland over the last two decades.

"There are certain performances throughout the years that we remember," said House.

House touted nearly a dozen MoCo track athletes off the top of his head in a phone interview. He knew their high school, collegiate, and post-collegiate accomplishments, driving home the point that track officials are closet diehard fans.

"We would talk about those things. We would follow kids and keep track of the kids...the kids have been absolutely amazing from our perspective...Ray was such a friend. All the coaches knew him and respected him. It's hard to imagine Ray won't be there."

Ray told me once that he got involved with track when his children got involved with track in high school in the 1990's, but later I found out that that was not the whole truth. While exploring high school cross country coverage from a 1973 edition of the Montgomery Sentinel (printed long before I was born), I noticed that the writer was Ray Boss. The young writer hinted that he was an outsider to the sport, but he was enthusiastic in his praise for young runners and particularly young ladies who were just beginning to be allowed to compete in high school sports. Ray forged a career as a real estate agent and not a writer, but I again felt further connected with him after uncovering his early days as a young sports journalist.

Ray began the tradition of hosting guest awards presenters at the Montgomery County cross country championship meet. He strived to bring back former MoCo state champions or the occasional war hero or pseudo-celebrity to shake hands with MoCo's top 10 XC runners. Why would he do that? Officials are paid a small fee and are free to go home after the competition, but Ray wanted to enhance the experience for the kids. It had nothing to do with his role as meet referee and almost nobody knows that he was the force behind it.

I can't remember the first time that Ray spoke to me, but I am sure that it was he who spoke first. Referees and umpires are not typically part of sports coverage unless there is a blown call, but through Ray, I learned that officials can enhance the athletic experience. Officials can be tremendous resources and allies. Ray brought a calmness and comfort to athletes and coaches alike. His presence to many was soothing, like a father figure, not there to be cold or punitive, but to support, encourage, and help all reach their full potential.



By: Dan Reeks

"Sprinters...Runners, YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE..."

How many times did you hear this announcement at an MCPS Track and Field meet, an Invitational meet in Montgomery County, or at the Maryland State Meet? Ray Boss, who passed away, leaving a great hole in many lives, was the man who got their attention, and respect.

YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE...

Competitors on the starting line paid attention.

Coaches whose teams competed in meets Ray Boss started or meets where Ray was the Meet Referee, paid attention, because they knew Ray was prepared, knowledgeable, and was at the meet, not to be the center of attention, not to find a way to bring his superior knowledge of Track and Field and Cross Country down on a competitor to disqualify her/him, but was there for "the good of the sport." Ray was there to promote our sport, to help young women and men grow as athletes and as human beings. He was there for the Joy of Sport.

"ON YOUR MARKS..."

Ray Boss and I met through his reporting about Cross Country and Track and Field in the 1970's, when he was a fledgling reporter for the Montgomery Sentinel. He interviewed me on several occasions. He was always prepared, curious, and courteous. His articles were fair and balanced.

When he became an official, I enjoyed observing him grow, and learned from him as well. He made his mark again (and again), as Kathy's husband, and Ray Jr., Katie, Lauren, and Eric's father.

"SET..."

Ray became a greater part of my world in the 2002-2003 school year when his daughters, Katie and Lauren joined the Sherwood Cross Country and Track Teams. Without him as the organizer, Sherwood Cross Country's first overnight trip to the William & Mary Invitational, would not have occurred. Ray organized (set) everything. His son Eric also became a Warrior Harrier as his sisters and older brother, Ray Jr. had been.

Ray, through being the starter/meet referee and recruiter of officials, helped set the Katie Jenkins Invitational as a respected late season meet. He helped to set the sports of Track & Field and Cross Country in a more respected light in MCPS. Many remember him with fondness.

GO!

Ray Boss probably didn't hear the initial commands clearly on his last day. Even that day at home, he was busy calling coaches and officials. He was busy placing officials at future spring meets and making sure coaches had the requested number of officials for the invitational meets they would host this year. The officials Ray recruited were much like him, passionate about Track and Field; passionate about fair enforcement of the rules; passionate about helping young athletes grow. Good people.

And then Ray heard the gun to start the next race go off...



By: Leslie Morrison

When I think of the people that helped define my high school track and field experience, Ray Boss was right up there with my coaches and teammates. He was a constant presence at meets, whether it was a regular season meet, an invitational, or a county, regional, or state championship. Ray was the calm port in the storm of lane assignments, heat changes, and starting line instructions. In high school I used to get incredibly nervous before races, but Ray always had time for a kind word or joke, helping me settle my nerves before the gun went off. One time after an especially hard fought race, I was lucky to come away with a big win and a souvenir - after I crossed the line, while I was still bent over trying to catch my breath, Ray slipped the blank casing from the starter pistol into my hands and said, "You're going to want to keep that." I still have it.

Even after I graduated from Whitman and became a spectator at high school races instead of a participant, Ray continued to be so welcoming and kind. Whenever I had the chance to attend a meet, I would sneak onto the infield at the track or jog down to the starting line of the cross country course to give Ray a quick hug, and we would catch up for a few minutes before he had to start the next race. It was always nice to talk to him and hear what he had been up to lately.

Montgomery County high school running has lost a truly wonderful member of our community. The next time I lace up my shoes to go on a run, or toe the starting line of a race, I'll be thinking about Ray. I'm sure a lot of MoCo coaches, athletes, and parents will be doing the same.

Leslie Morrison
Walt Whitman Track & Field 2008




By: David Warren

Every track meet has three groups of people to make it work. You have the coaches who do their best to put the kids in the proper position to succeed.You have the athletes who have to go out and compete as best they can. Lastly you have the referees, starters, officials and timers. The latter is the group that has the thankless task of running a meet. Kids think that they are intimidating. Some coaches think that they are out to get them and prevent their own athletes from being successful.

Many of them volunteer their time or get paid a wage similar to that of a volunteer. They sometimes get yelled at by a coach who may disagree with them. Kids curse at them when they are asked to tuck in a shirt or if they get disqualified. Sometimes parents yell at them. Who wants that kind of job?

In general they just want the kids to succeed.

Most of the officials were athletes themselves. Their kids were athletes. Some of them used to coach. They are a small group in our track and field community that often times goes unnoticed and unthanked. Without them we couldn't have meets.

A genuinely good person passed away last night [Feb 13]: the head referee for Montgomery County Track and Field, Ray Boss. I've known him my entire coaching career. I spoke to him at every single meet where he was officiating. The conversation was only for a moment or two.

Four or five years ago, we, started a meet where we would compete under the lights on a Friday in mid-spring. We called it Friday Night Spikes. For parents who often worked late and couldn't get out of work, it was a chance to see their kids compete. For their peers it was one of the few chances to see their friends compete because it didn't conflict with any other sports that evening. We would get 400-500 people in the stands for a tiny little track meet. Ray was our referee for all of those meets and he often told me that it was his favorite meet of the year. He specifically requested it year-after-year because of the positive vibes. Those meets couldn't have been successful without him. We worked well together at our outdoor dual meets or at the indoor developmental meets. He was loud enough to be heard but soft spoken. I think the kids appreciated his softer demeanor.

He also had this wonderful tradition where after you won a big race he would give you the shell casing from the starter's pistol. It was his way to connect with the athletes. It was a small token of your success and his little way of saying 'good job.' I was glad I got to be a part of that. I'm sure other officials do that as well. Another thing he often did was allow athletes to start races. He did his best to connect to the athletes, which is important.

We weren't best friends or friends...just acquaintances who saw each other 25 times a year. I never heard him say a bad thing about anyone. He will be missed. I will at some point pass this on to his family and let them know that almost every single coach or official who knew him probably has the same thought going on in their head at the moment. The athletes, officials and coaches of Montgomery County lost a good person. Earth lost a really decent human.


What three words describe Ray?

Warren House: Dedicated. Passionate. Caring.
Will Lederer: Considerate. Compassionate. Conscientious.
Fran Parry: Always Christian. Always kind. Always understanding.
Eric Ellingson: Organized, Passionate, Kind.
Daniel Rose: Dependable. Mentor. Committed.

What is a story you will always remember Ray by?

Greg Dunston: The last meet that Ray started was my Private and Independent Schools meet on Feb. 4. Little did either of us know that it would be his last. We talked about when he might retire and he told me that when the Woodward Relays in the spring were celebrating their 50th anniversary, he would be there with me. That would be in 6 years as we are celebrating the 45th this year. To have him say that he wanted to be there with me made me very proud to have such a loyal friend. I'll miss Ray and his excellent track-side manner with the athletes as well as his friendship and loyalty.

Warren House: When we would get together, we would talk officiating. He had that much interest and that much desire. We talked about situations. That's the way that I have grown up as an offical. That's the way that you can learn - talk about situations that come up and how you would handle it, how somebody else handled it, and maybe there was a different way to handle it when you think about it. Not that everything was track and field obviously, we had some other common interests, but we really did talk about that and I think that was so valuable to exchange ideas and exchange experiences.

Steve Hays: You will truly be missed! You were more than just a track official, you were like part of my family. I'll never forget the kindness you showed every spring by bringing a birthday card to my daughter Evelyn; or the time you gave her the flashcards and the book on math when she confided in you that she was having trouble in math; or every time you gave the race winner the empty blank from the starter's pistol. I can't believe you won't be starting our races this Spring, but I know you will be looking down on us and enjoying the competition. You did so much for Montgomery County Track and Field, thank you!

Ron Clarke: Ray was dedicated to high school officiating in Montgomery County and more recently in Washington, DC. When the county and the MPSSAA needed someone to succeed Jim Volmer, it was Ray who stepped to organize an officials group dedicated to providing officials for HS events in the county. Not only did he bring structure and organization, but he was close to fully implementing a system where officials would receive a stipend for their efforts.

Ray did not recede after his diagnosis. I got emails from him on Sunday and Monday as he was still trying to ensure that upcoming meets this spring would be properly staffed. Hopefully his officials would honor his memory by fully staffing those meets.

Todd King: It wasn't often that the track events finished before the field events but on the occasions that they did, Ray ALWAYS came over to ask if or how he could help. He was always more than willing to lend a hand to get the job done expeditiously. He was a good friend, a fine man and he will be greatly missed by those whose life he touched.

Fran Parry: I have many stories of Ray! What I admired most about Ray is that he lived his Faith in Christ in everything he did. He was an excellent example to me on Faith, Family, and Friends.

Will Lederer: It's not one story, but observations of many occasions that I would see Ray working meets as the starter: soaking wet from the rain, dripping wet from the heat, bundled up in the cold, yet always doing the job well, and always with a good, if not cheerful attitude.

Lisa Timm: Ray Boss's name was very fitting for the man that he was. He was a RAY of sunshine reflecting love for people and that came from his love for God. I knew Ray as a coach's wife. He always greeted me, knew my name, asked how I was doing, and loved on my kids as we came to watch their dad coach. Cross Country and Track will never be the same without him there but I know he left a legacy of love in the running community.

Nathan Timm: Ray Boss has left a powerful legacy in the Moco cross country and track community. Being an official wasn't just a job for Ray, but a ministry. His joy and love for people at meets and in the community overflowed from his faith in Jesus Christ. My life was blessed by his presence and friendship.

Polly Wolf: I first met Ray when my daughter Katie was running at Churchill. Bottom line, he was great with the kids. He loved being around them, instructing them, helping them, getting to know them, and following their successes. At dual meets, he would often comment to me about how a particular athlete had improved over the years. But it wasn't just the star athletes he would notice. It was just as often the back-of-the pack freshman who rose to the middle-of-the-pack junior that he took notice of. It was always popular with the seniors when he would let them start a race or two at dual meets in the spring...and then let them keep the shells from the starter's gun. He didn't let the athletes (or the coaches, for that matter) get away with anything, but he never offended anyone either. His calm, matter-of-fact style was all business, and he was able to quickly put to rest any histrionics that coaches, athletes, or parents might throw his way.

Eric Ellingson: How can I choose just one? I remember him being frustrated with me during one of the first times I ever operated the timing camera because we couldn't keep up with him. I remember the time he DQ'd our top XC runner at the county championship after a breakout race, but he thoroughly explained the infraction to everyone involved and that athlete never came close to doing the same thing again. Mostly, I remember the enthusiasm that he always had at every meet he was ever at, the passion that he had for the sport, and his level of fandom of what the phenomenal athletes of this county have achieved and continue to achieve.

Daniel Rose: There was an accidental collision at a very important track meet and the coaches were all arguing and yelling before Ray strode up and pulled out his books. He calmly stared at the coaches in the circle until everyone hushed. We had a Games Committee dispute and we were looking for a rule. I was coaching and didn't have my rule book nearby, but the case book was the only text that had a close-enough example to cite so that a decision could be reached. I know this because as unique of a situation as this was, Boss wasn't flustered for more than one second as he composed himself and flipped through both the rule and case book to show us how he was going to make a decision. I do not feel that anyone else would have been so prepared and quickly able to find, share and explain the ruling as Boss did that afternoon. The sport has taken a big hit with his loss, but we have all gained experience, exposure and wisdom through witnessing Boss's preparation, understanding and unbiased decision-making based off of character-defining officiating.

Sean O'Leary: From dual meets to state championships, Ray gave every race that he officiated the same level of professional attention. I was always impressed by his ability to keep a positive attitude no matter the conditions - bad weather, meet delays, you name it. He truly cared about the growth of track and field in Montgomery County, and he had a knack for making people feel special by remembering their accomplishments long after their high school graduation. I feel lucky to have come in contact with him, and I'm disappointed that I'll never get a chance to thank him for not DQ-ing me after false starting twice in a dual meet 3200m.

Chad Young: I always loved when Ray picked a senior from the team to be an honorary starter for one of the races in our dual meets. He would hand over the starter pistol and the senior would always nervously pull the trigger to start the race. It was a small gesture but one that made a lasting impression on that senior and made the meet even more about fun and not serious all the time. Many times he would pick out a younger spectator - a sibling, son or daughter of a coach - and have them ring the bell on the last lap of a race. He loved to get others involved and these younger kids always got a thrill being involved in what their siblings or parents were doing. I'm sure many of these kids took up the sport not too long after ringing that bell.

Eric DaSilva: I have rarely met a person more appropriately named than Ray Boss. The man was in charge at track meets, but he never had to tell you or show you or prove it to you. In so many ways, that's a real Boss. The other thing I appreciated was how he shared his love of officiating track meets by letting different athletes fire the gun to start races. While winning matters and improving is important, much of what we do with high school students is giving them memories they will carry with them the rest of their lives. All those kids who got to start a race will remember that moment for the rest of their lives, and so lives Ray Boss for the rest of our lives.

Jason Bozicevich: Some of the many things I will remember about Ray are his passion for the kids. It amazed me how Ray knew all of us coaches by name and many of our athletes. Ray genuinely cared about the success of the athletes. He was never an 'I got you' official. In my second year of coaching, about 2 minutes before the start of a cross country race, I heard Ray scream, "Jason, come here!" We had a uniform violation and he let me know about it when he was more than justified to disqualify us. That was typical Ray: putting the kids first and their ability to compete. He was always on the go but never passed you without a kind word or a smile. God bless you, Ray, and Thanks!

Kellie Redmond: Ray Boss... I don't even know how to sum up what I feel about this loss... Obviously, he was such a dedicated advocate for XC and Track/Field, giving endless time and energy for the betterment of our sport. But it went so much deeper than that. To Ray it wasn't just about the sport, it was about the people. He didn't have to take the time to get to know all the coaches so well, but he did. He didn't have to take the time to show so much interest in the athletes, but he did. And he certainly didn't have to take time to talk to the parents of many of the athletes, but he did that as well. He was a teacher, a coach, a mentor, a role model... He was one of the really, really good guys. When I started coaching in Montgomery County 11 years ago, he was one of the first people I met. He was helpful and patient and quickly became someone I looked to for advice and support. He became my friend.

This upcoming spring track and field season is going to feel lonely without Ray at the meets. He was a fixture. He was the gold standard for officials. Plus, who is going to let a senior athlete start a race? Who is going to bring apple sauce to the coaches? Who is going to come to one of our practices and teach the new kids the rules and regulations of xc and/or track? Who will offer to come to a practice and do a few 'official' starts for kids so they can practice before the first meet of the season? I don't know, but what I do know is that I have no memories of any track or xc official when I was in high school, these MoCo kids will not be able to say the same thing. They were blessed with one of the best, and so were the coaches and parents. Ray has impacted more people than he could ever fathom.

You will be so missed, Ray. Thank you for being a teacher, coach, mentor, and role model for me...I hope I can be half the person you were.

What made Ray an exemplary track and field official?

Tocque Peyton: He made sure that all competitors knew what to expect in their event, such as the rules of competition. He, like me, really wanted the competitors to do their very best no matter what place they finished.

Fran Parry: Ray had a complete command of the rules of track and field and always applied them with the understanding that the rules were in place to help the coaches and runners and not to hinder them. So he always applied the rules according to the situation. He imparted his experience and wisdom to all officials and guided them through the rough waters of the learning curve in officiating.

Will Lederer: He devoted a great deal of his personal time, worked his officiating around his work, family, and other responsibilities. He was always dependable and responsible. If he said he would be there, he would be there.

Daniel Rose: Boss was wise, persistent, experienced, approachable, and always had a copy of the rule book as well as the case book in his pocket (and he knew where to find everything in those books to find a rule, prove a point, and cite or solve a case).

Eric Ellingson: Ray knew his job and he did it well. He was very organized and an excellent communicator to coaches, athletes, and fellow officials. He was always thinking ahead to what was coming next and helping to remind everyone of what they needed to be prepared to do. He always gave athletes kind words of encouragement after their performances, whether they just set an amazing PR or had just had a bad day. He used any rules infractions as learning opportunities and always communicated any infractions and how they could be remedied in the future. He also always treated everyone with the utmost of respect.

Emily Young: As an official, Ray was the best in the business. He was knowledgeable and efficient, and you could always trust him to fairly and reasonably adjudicate any dispute or rule violation. What made him truly exceptional, however, was that he genuinely cared about making track a positive experience for athletes and coaches alike. He understood that his job as an official was as much about teaching the rules as it was enforcing them. On countless occasions, I observed him kindly and patiently answering a question or explaining a rule to an anxious runner. He recognized that nervous high schoolers need positive supportive adults to guide them through the stress of a meet, and he made sure to fill that role. I admired and respected him so much for this.

Chad Young: Among all of the officials that worked local meets Ray always stood out. He stood out because he cared. He cared about the rules, he cared about teaching the sport, and he cared about each athlete having a positive experience. Instead of intimidating athletes and harshly enforcing the rules, Ray found a way to keep things light on the starting lines where athletes were the most on edge. Through all of his officiating it was clear Ray was a teacher - and a great one. He helped thousands of athletes new to cross country and track and field learn the rules and helped them keep calm when they felt the most anxious. When he had to make a disqualification you could tell he hated to do it. When difficult calls had to be made you could always count on Ray to be fair. On any occasion when Ray would need to make a judgment he would always seek out the coach personally to explain. For me, no explanation was ever necessary. I knew if Ray made the call, it was the right one.

Seann Pelkey: In Sociology class this week, we discussed the term 'altruism.' I've probably said the word a hundred times over the past few days and each time I thought of Ray Boss. The selfless concern for others describes Ray as a track & field official, but even more as a person. As I said to the team this week when I informed them of Ray's passing, "we can all learn from his integrity, his humbleness, and his genuine heart."

Lots of folks can fire a gun to start a race, but Ray brought a personal touch to officiating that always prioritized the athlete, yet held true to the ideals of the sport. On behalf of the Pelkey family and entire Quince Orchard track & field community, our condolences are with the Boss family. Ray will truly be missed. We will all do our best to honor his legacy.

What made Ray the best man to be Commissioner and leader of track and field officials?

Tocque Peyton: I think he had great integrity: everybody could count on Ray to do the right thing that was fair and according to the spirit of the rules of the game and in life.

Will Lederer: He kept foremost the interests of the athletes, regard for the coaches, and respect and concern for the well being of his officials. He was always looking out for opportunities for, and to enhance and improve the official's organization.

Polly Wolf: Ray was a great leader of track and field officials because he made you want to be an official. I don't think I would have ever become an official if it wasn't for Ray -- he was great to work with and for, he was a great teacher of the sport, and he always respected the fact that we were giving our time and effort to work at these meets. While he never pressured me to take assignments, I always wanted to because he made it an enjoyable experience -- even though at times it could be very exasperating!

Ray not only worked tirelessly for the Montgomery County schools track program, but he had recently expanded his reach to help the D.C. State Athletic Association improve the officiating at their state meets. Ray stepped up to help DCSAA get their officiating under better control, bringing several MoCo officials to the DC meets to ensure all of the rules were followed properly. In fact, several of us were on our way to work at the DC State Indoor Championship meet when we got the news of Ray's passing. They observed a moment of silence in Ray's honor prior to the start of the meet that day -- another testament to the impact that he had in the track world, even outside of Montgomery County. It was a very tough day for the MoCo officials.

Fran Parry: Ray was on task with his administration of his acquired duties as our representative for Montgomery Track Officials Association. He was always asking questions about the meets we wanted to officiate or later on how the different meets ended up and did we have any issues.

Eric Ellingons: Ray was incredibly organized as well as an excellent leader by example. In the hours before he died, he had just finished sending out meet assignments to all officials for the upcoming outdoor season for all MoCo meets as far as I know. I first encountered that as a meet director as he knew exactly how many officials he needed to make sure a meet ran smoothly. He has been instrumental towards getting certified officials for the county championship meet so that coaches could actually coach. When I went on hiatus from coaching, Ray was probably the only person that could have successfully talked me into officiating. He was a true champion of track and field for the county.

Daniel Rose: Boss made the MoCo Officials a crew. He was the glue. Nobody can replace Ray Boss.

When Ray officiated a meet, what could you be certain of?

Will Lederer: Fairness regarding the rules and concern for the athletes and all others involved.

Fran Parry: When Ray ran a meet, coaches and officials always knew he would be fair in he decisions, the meet would be run efficiently and effectively and Ray always had the athlete and meet in mind.

Eric Ellingson: You could always be certain that the meet would be efficient, that his role would be well run, and that most people watching wouldn't notice him. He would always interact with athletes and offer words of encouragement.

Daniel Rose: Some meets, as a coach, I have concerns about how an official, starter, and/or head judge may deal with the specific rule enforcement, directions to be given to athletes (or coaches), and the difficult problems that inevitably arise and seem to be a brand new issue. With Boss, that was the least of my concerns as a coach - and that meant I could focus on our team and athletic competition.

What did you know about Ray outside of track & field?

Will Lederer: Ray and I lived in the same town, our sons and daughters went to the same schools, they did scouts together, sports together, music programs together. Our daughters are good friends. Years ago, when I was coaching and he was officiating at a meet, we always made it a point to catch up. He and Cathy supported their kids with their time and efforts in all their activities. We saw each other's wives and kids and each other many times and at any time around town, at the schools, and at events, which was always a genuine pleasure; with a warm smile and kind words. When Lauren worked at Panera in Aspen Hill and later Olney, we would see her and them at both restaurants. All his children are talented, a joy to talk to, and good people to know. Knowing Ray and Cathy, that is no surprise. I know how proud of them he was, because he told me so. He was to me a neighbor, a fellow parent, a kindred sports and music enthusiast, and friend. I miss him.

Polly Wolf: Outside of track, I'm not sure many people knew that Ray had a real job as well -- it seemed he was always available to work a meet, meet with coaches and administrators, and make sure every meet had the officials they needed. In fact, the last thing he did Monday night was to send out all of the officials schedules for the spring meets. But Ray also worked as a Realtor, out of the ReMax office in Montgomery Village. When Kevin and I moved from Potomac to Clarksburg a couple of years ago, we had the pleasure of using Ray as our Realtor for the purchase of our new home. He was just as thoughtful and thorough in that role as he was in fulfilling his officiating responsibilities.

Fran Parry: Ray was a man of Faith and Family first, then Friends next, and the rest of his world could fit in later on: An example for Coaches and Officials to emulate in this busy world today.

Tocque Peyton: He had good knowledge of real estate and would share that with me. He had a "no non-sense" rule about money. He was a good family man. Family always came first. When he visited me at my home, he made sure that he had a conversation with my grand children.

Emily Young: Ray was more than just an official. He was our friend. He helped us find and purchase our first home; he often brought us homemade applesauce because he knew how much we loved it; and he always took the time to say hello and ask about my health, even when he was busy running a meet. Because of how deeply he cared for all of us in the MoCo running community, I always viewed him as our beloved patriarch. His absence at meets will be painful and glaring, and we will miss him dearly.

Chad Young: He cared about all of us inside and outside of our track oval. Ray helped us purchase our first home and he was such a great listener to help us find what we needed. We knew we were in great hands. He always took time to say hello at meets and I always loved to catch up. He was a great friend to me and my family and we will miss him dearly.






Article Comments - Add A Comment

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Mike Sauter
2017-02-17 15:14:55

Thanks Kevin, and thanks to all who contributed. Ray Boss will be missed.

WJ runner
2017-02-17 16:19:40

This is a wonderful tribute, thank you Kevin for putting this all together. I'm not even sure all these accounts do Ray justice because words can't describe the character and leadership he brought on to the track. For many runners including myself, Ray started our first race and our last race. He will be greatly missed but he is undoubtedly in a better place.

Bill Boss
2017-02-20 16:55:46

To hear how Ray touched your lives in so many ways is beyond heartwarming. Thank you all for this glowing tribute to my brother.

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