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March 30, 2005
Varas funeral is in Winter Park, Fla. on Friday

The funeral of former referee John Varas will be held in Winter Park, Fla. on Friday.

Varas, the former Massapequa Park, L.I. resident who passed away after a long bout with cancer at the age of 69 on Tuesday,

Varas was an advocate of women's and girls soccer. He played the sport when he was younger, but decided to become a coach because he knew he could give more back to the game.

He coached at all youth levels -- boys and girls. He eventually became a referee and eventually was named a national level assessor.

"John was one of Massapequa's best. He was one of our best coaches, trained all our referees and was a terrific administrator," longtime Massapequa Soccer Club volunteer Maryann Kozak said. "He was a real stand-up guy. You knew where you stood with John Varas."

Varas, a lieutenant in the New York City Police Department, retired in 1989 after 29 years.

He also was a member of St. Brendan's Catholic Church in Ormond Beach, the loyal order of Moose Lodge 1263 and the fraternal order of Eagles Lodge Aerie 3800, in which he served as an officer.

Varas is survived by his wife Mary, son John, Jr. (Kerri), daughters Mary (Brian) Reece, Margie (Ken) Tegge, Jean (Heather), grandchildren Tyler, John Philip (J.P.), Cheyenne, Shannon and Sierra, brothers Bob (Nancy), Alex, Jr. (Bonita), sisters Aida Rivera and Peggy Gutierrez.

Visitation will be on Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at Carey Hand Cox-Parker Funeral Home, 1350 West Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, Fla. (407) 647-1942.

A funeral mass will be held on Friday at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church Chapel at 10 a.m.

Mass cards and fruit baskets can be sent to the Varas Family, c/o Margie Tegge, 9405 Lake Douglas Place, Orlando, FL 32817.

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