“A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone.”
VANLUE — James C. “Jim” May, 79, of Vanlue was born February 28th, 1938, to the late John and Fannie May in Paintsville, Ky. Surrounded by his family, Jim passed away May 16, 2017, after a courageous six-year battle with multiple myeloma cancer. He married Shirley (Rickle) May on December 27, 1957, and she survives him. Jim always confessed that he liked Shirley since the 4th grade but it took until their senior year in high school for her to reciprocate the feeling. They would have been married 60 years at the end of this year.
Jim is also survived by his three daughters and their families. Sheri (Mike) Hindall, Teri (Kris) Matre and Kari (Jim) Zellner. Jim loved his grandchildren beyond measure as was evidenced by the amount of time and attention he gave to each one. Joshua (Tanya) Cole, Benjamin Hindall, Sara Matre, Eric (Shawna) Matre, Alyssa Matre, Madison and Keegan Faulkner and step-grandchildren Jeff (Maddie) Zellner along with their son, Owen and Greg Zellner. Jim is also survived by his sister Betty (John) Lee and brother, Steve (Sharon) May and many nieces and nephews and their families.
Jim was a 1956 graduate of Vanlue High School where he played football. He earned his degree from Tiffin University in 1967. He was a Specialist 5th Class E5 in the US Army, stationed at Redstone Arsenal Huntsville, Alabama, from 1957-1961. He was accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point but declined the opportunity so he could instead marry his wife, Shirley and return to Ohio. Jim worked for Ford Motor Company (later Allied Signal) in Fostoria from 1961-1991. He later farmed family land.
Jim was a former member and Chief of the Vanlue Volunteer Fire Department. He was a former Boy Scout Troop 315 leader, member of the American Legion Post 0344 and AMVETS Post OH-21. Jim was an avid fan of the Cleveland Indians and the Ohio State Buckeyes. It irritated him immensely that his wife, along with daughters Sheri and Kari, and grandchildren Madi and Keegan were fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide. He participated in many friendly debates with his family members regarding which football conference was the best. Jim enjoyed teaching his grandsons how to hunt and he spent many deer hunting seasons in the woods of Pennsylvania with family and friends. Jim was an amazing grandpa and invested time and effort into the lives of each one of his grandchildren. He could always be found at sporting events supporting and encouraging them.
In 2014, he traveled to Washington DC with Honor Fight, accompanied by his sponsor and son-in-law Kris.
The most important membership of Jim’s life came on December 24, 2008, when he was baptized into Christ’s family at Parkview Christian Church. Jim changed his life and was determined to live the life Jesus wanted him to lead. Because of his relationship with Christ, he became a better person, a better husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. He accepted that his cancer diagnosis was God’s plan, even if we couldn’t understand why.
We will remember and honor Jim’s life during a funeral service on Monday, May 22nd at 1 p.m. at Stombaugh-Batton Funeral Home, Carey, OH. Rev. Neil Norheim will officiate. Burial and graveside service with military rites will follow at Zion Bloom Cemetery, near Vanlue. Visitation will be held Sunday, May 21st from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the fundraising campaign, The Multiple Myeloma Project created in his honor by Jim’s granddaughter, Madi. The Multiple Myeloma Project was developed to raise funds for research at The James Cancer Hospital and to spread awareness about the disease. Contributions may be made to The Multiple Myeloma Project c/o Millstream CC, Attn. Carol Treece, 1150 Broad Ave, Findlay.
Jim played an important role in the lives of his family and friends. He fought a long hard battle with determination and unmeasurable strength. He has left a void that can never be filled.
For the rest of our lives, we will search for moments full of you.
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