Raymond “Ray” E. May, formerly of Windsor, VT, died on June 4, 2016, at the age of 101 in the home of his daughter, Gaila Strawn in Escondido, CA, where he had been lovingly cared for over the last four years. Ray was the oldest of five children born to Ervin and Anna (Dennison) May in Peterborough, NH, on May 31, 1915. Ray’s father built a home on the NH/MA border in Winchendon, MA, so Ray could easily attend high school. Following graduation from Murdock HS, Ray became a door-to- door salesman for Raleigh and Fuller Brush products. At the outset of World War II, Ray enlisted in the Army and served in the European theater in several countries and fought in the Battle of the Bulge after which he was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. At the end of the war, Ray returned to Winchendon, MA ,where he married his sweetheart, Beatrice Cardin. Ray began his long career with Aubuchon Hardware in Winchendon, MA, and in 1957 became the manager of the Windsor, VT, store.
Ray was never a person who could sit still long. When not working in the hardware store, he was remodeling his home in Windsor or tending his garden at home.
Ray was also a voracious reader, and he and Bea enjoyed taking long trips when time permitted. He was a member of St. Francis Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. Ray was a man of few words but he was always available to listen and would offer advice when asked. He was loved for his quiet dedication to his family, friends, and God. In his later years he was asked to speak to Boy Scout troops about his first hand experiences during WW II and his recall of details of the war was remarkable, considering it was such a harrowing experience.
He leaves behind his three children, son, Jim (wife Karin) of Claremont, NH, daughter Gaila (husband David) Strawn of Escondido, CA, daughter Patricia May (wife Kathy Droll) of Long Beach, CA, and granddaughter, Elizabeth May of Fresno, CA, as well as his sister, Evelyn Spaulding of Baldwinville, MA, and many nieces and nephews.
Burial will be at the Veterans Cemetery in Winchendon, MA, at a later date.
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