Thomas Upton May, 86, of New Athens, IL, born March 10, 1935 in Beardstown, IL, passed away at his residence on Wednesday September 29, 2021. May was a U.S. Navy veteran, rancher, licensed private pilot and retired science teacher at Red Bud High School , where he enjoyed serving as a student council sponsor and a track & field official. Though he was very active in the community, he was a devoted family man. May was a member of St. John United Church of Christ in New Athens, IL, where his ministries included singing in the choir, serving as a church board member and organizing prayer partners. As a true bird lover, he was passionate about his work with and through the Inland Bird Banding Association, Illinois Audubon Society, Kaskaskia Valley Audubon Society and the Lincoln Land Association of Bird Banders. Additionally, he served on the local library board.
May was preceded in death by his parents – Olen E. and Mary S. (Caton) May; and two brothers – John Caton May and William Hull May.
Surviving him are his beloved wife – Shirley Anne (Hollifield) May of New Athens, IL, who he married on June 30, 1957 in Spruce Pine, NC; four children – Susan (Bill) Borg of Whitney, TX, Melanie (Steven) Goodwin of Sarasota, FL, Thomas (Yukiko) May of Glen Carbon, IL and Anita (Mark) Schneidewind of Crest Hill, IL; one sister – Mary Jane Goulden of Houston, TX; eight grandchildren – Michael (Kristen) Schneidewind, Matthew Cholopisa, Joshua Cholopisa, Jacob (Christina) Goodwin, Brian Goodwin, Drew May, Katherine May and Noah May; and two great grandchildren – Margaret Schneidewind and Graham Goodwin – as well as beloved extended family.
Memorials in May’s honor may be made to Samaritan’s Purse for disaster relief. Visit https://samaritanspurse.org/ for further information – under Memorial Giving search Thomas May Memorial. Also, memorials can be made to St. John United Church of Christ.
Condolences to the family may be expressed online at www.heilschuessler.com.
Visitation: Visiting hours will be from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday October 2, 2021 at St. John United Church of Christ in New Athens, IL.
Funeral: Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday October 2, 2021 at St. John United Church of Christ in New Athens, IL with Rev. Dr. Robert Koch officiating. Entombment will follow at Valhalla Gardens Mausoleum in Belleville, IL
Heil-Schuessler Funeral Home in New Athens, IL is in charge of arrangements.