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Ron Olmstead
Founder of Palo Alto AYSO and First Regional Commissioner 1973-1977
20 June 1934 - 9 May 2015

Ron Olmstead, a fifth generation Californian, passed away peacefully on Saturday, surrounded by family members.

Born in San Jose in 1934, Ron was proud of his heritage as a member of one of Santa Clara Valley’s pioneer farm families. He was a graduate of Palo Alto High School where he played football and baseball.

Ron was a member of the 1950 Paly football team that went 10-­0 under legendary coach, Hod Ray. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Ron worked for many years as an engineer in the aerospace industry before joining his family’s summer training camp business, the United Spirit Association. Ron directed USA camps for thousands of young people throughout the Western United States. An early proponent of positive coaching, Ron was one of the founders of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) in the Bay Area and conducted the first AYSO training camps at U.C. Santa Cruz. Ron played a key role in the production of the Opening Ceremonies for Super Bowl XIX, the Olympic Soccer Tournament and the 1994 World Cup.

In retirement, Ron pursued his interest in California history and the Lester/Cilker/Olmstead Family genealogy. He was a prolific storyteller with extensive knowledge of the region’s history.  Ron lived in Los Osos, San Juan Bautista, and Mariposa before returning to his roots in Palo Alto.

Ron demonstrated courage in his final years, never losing his positive attitude and sense of humor. Ron is survived by his devoted wife of 28 years, Jo, his children Edward Olmstead and Anne Tierney, his grandson Nico, and his brothers Alan, Doug, and Michael.

Memorial gifts may be made in Ron’s name to the Stanford Medical Center Lymphoma Program.



My father, Ron Olmstead died this last Saturday.

In 1970 he started Palo Alto's first AYSO team, and oversaw AYSO's operations for several years.  I remember when P.A. became it's own region.  Ron managed AYSO affairs for about 6 years.  "Carl Bijac" oversaw the greater peninsula at that time.  There were many other fathers, and moms who worked on the establishment of the league in Palo Alto

By the time that Ron ended his AYSO volunteer work, he was overseeing affairs for the entire peninsula.  And I remember how the region played a big roll in establishing girls teams for AYSO,  which was of course a huge success.

It always impressed me, how much work and time he was willing to put into youth soccer, seeing as he had never played himself.  He had been a football lineman for PALY and had played baseball as well.

There was a great atmosphere in the AYSO youth soccer community, as I am sure there still is now.  I know that I benefited greatly from my AYSO experience.

I cannot imagine that there is anyone involved with Region 26 who would remember my dad, Ron.  But I thought that I would send this notification to you anyway.

Very Best Regards.

Edward Olmstead
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