May 21, 1913 ~ February 2, 2009
Claude Norbert May was born on the 21st day of May 1913, in Grant County, Oklahoma, the son of Chi Chester May and Bessie (Burns) May. Claude passed from this life on the 2nd day of February 2009, at the age of 95 years. On the 30th day of April 1934, at Trenton, Missouri, Claude married Marjorie Dean Haun. Claude and Marjorie raised their two sons, Claude Raymond and Chester Leon, on the family farm west of Caldwell. Claude later shared his love for the farm life with his grandchildren.
Claude was a lifelong farmer, beginning as a young boy working ground with a horse drawn plow. Claude was a faithful Massey man. He was thrilled last summer, which would be his last harvest, when he was asked to ride along on the newest Massey prototype combine. He took great pride in his Santa Gertrudis cattle heard. In his later years, he enjoyed traveling the countryside inspecting the growing crops, and never missed an opportunity to visit about the latest happenings in the Ag world.
Claude was a pilot and flew his own Luscombe & Aronica airplanes for many years. After retiring from the farm, Claude enjoyed fishing, hunting and traveling. He had many fond memories and stories of hunting and fishing with his good friend, Vern Miller.
On January 23, 1987, Claude married Viola Tackett Stow in Wellington, Kansas. Claude and Viola acquired a second home near Lake Texoma, and enjoyed many years trolling for stripers on a daily basis, and getting a kick out of being the fish guide for friends that visited.
Claude was a die-hard democrat. Those who were not familiar with his strong political views were taken by surprise when a simple statement, leaning toward the right, could put this normally mild mannered man into a rage. Claude considered himself a lucky man to have had two wonderful women in his life, Marjorie for 51 years and Viola for 22. He was grateful for the many good times he was afforded in his retirements years, be it hunting, fishing, playing pinnacle, traveling, or spending time with friends and family. Claude had a
great memory and was a wonderful storyteller of the “good old days” which he said weren’t that great - he truly appreciated all modern conveniences.
Claude knew he was fortunate to be alive and active at his age considering the many heart problems he had throughout the years. In the past, when hospitalized, he would state he just wanted to live to see the year 2000 - which he did, plus some.
Claude was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Marjorie and his five siblings, Pearl Unruh, Pauline Phillips, Bulah Reduk, Glenn May, and Kenneth May.
Claude is survived, and will be missed by his wife, Viola; two sons, Raymond May and wife Judy of Yakima, Washington, Chet May and wife Mryna of Wichita, KS; three step-children, John Stow of Oklahoma City, OK, Jim Stow and wife Shirley of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Barb Schlottog and husband Charlie of Corbin, KS; five grandchildren, Crystal Firestone, Todd May, Brett May, Jason May and Tina May; and six step-grandchildren Jennie Karr, Julie Caruthers, Melissa Johnson; Jim E. Stow, Joel Stow, and Laura Stow. Nine great-grandchildren and nine step great-grandchildren also survive him.
Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Friday, February 2, 2009 at the Central Christian Church in Caldwell. Interment will be in the Caldwell City Cemetery. Friends may call at the mortuary from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 4, 2009 and 9:00 a.m.
to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, February 5, 2009. Memorials may be given in Claude’s name to the Central Christian Church or to the Caldwell Care Network.
Family and Friends - 02/03/2009
I can remember Mr. May at the Corner Cafe in Caldwell.... I would be there with my Grandfather, Vern Miller, and enjoy the stories about the farm, deer or bird hunting, the weather, and whatever else was the topic of the day. He was such a nice man and I will miss him. My condolences to the May family.
Al and Pat Rader
Family and Friends - 02/03/2009
Viola, Raymond and Chet Please accept our sorrow for the loss of your husband and father. I always enjoyed our talks at homecoming visits and during our earlier childhood days. I am sorry we can't attend the services. Al and Pat Rader
Family and Friends - 02/05/2009
I remember many good times with my Grandfather, Vern Miller, and Claude. I did a lot of hunting with them together. They were quite a pair! I especially remember Claude's smile. He had a great sense of humor, and a great memory. He and Vern had a great friendship. Their personalities complimented each other well, and Claude was a "gem". I will always remember Claude with affection. The family should be proud of him. I know that I will see
him again some day, along with my Grandpa.
Family and Friends - 02/09/2009
Viola: I am so saddened to learn of Claude's death. I remember from your Christmas letter that you said "we still have each other" and if I remember correctly, you had 20+ years together. You will now have your wonderful memories. You take care of yourself now. You are in my thoughts. With Love and Sympathy, Jerry Sander, Idaho Springs, CO Raymond and Chet and your families: Your Dad was a good friend of Merle's and when we would come back to Caldwell to visit, we always stayed with your Dad and Mom and later, your Dad and Viola. We played cards and had some wonderful times together. Your Dad was such a wonderful person. He will be missed. My sympathy. Jerry Sander and family, Idaho Springs, Co.
Marilyn (Hula) Fuchs
Family and Friends - 02/13/2009
Dear Raymond & Chet, Just received the Caldwell Messenger today, Feb. 13, and read of your dad's passing. I remember wonderful times in the 40's & 50's of our families being together. Your father was definitely my first "boyfriend", as his name was the one I would say when people asked me about by boyfriends when I was about four years old. Another memory is that when Claude and my dad, Louis would "sometimes" have a beer together, I
would always sit on Claude's lap and he would give me a sip or two. Then one time my dad offered me a sip of his beer and I said, "I only drink Claude's beer".