IN MEMORIAM: William Bruce May

by Jane Ahrens

William Bruce May (III) died June 30, 2007 in Chestertown. Born in 1921, Irvington, NY. He was baptized at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. He graduated from Admiral Farragut Academy which institution later awarded him its Distinguished Alumnus citation. In 1942, he graduated from Union College. There he played varsity football and hockey and was a president of his class. He was also a member of Alpha Delta Phi. Mr. May enlisted in the US Army 15 August 1942 and served on active duty through World War II in both European and Asiatic Pacific Theaters. He married June 19, 1953 to Jeanne Atkinson. He continued in the U.S. Army Reserve until 1972 (a “thirty year” man) retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. In the 1950s “Bruce” attended Columbia University, Pace College and N.Y.U. taking courses in various real estate functions, insurance, and general business. He also became a licensed NASD broker/dealer. He joined the William B. May Company in 1957 and on the death of his father four years later he became president of that organization. Under his thirty year leadership the company expanded to over two hundred employees and associates, five offices, and a property management division operating 210 substantial cooperative and condominium buildings.

Among his outside activities he enjoyed teaching business, free enterprise and citizenship in the Junior Achievement, Project Business program. In 1988 he was named “teacher of the year” and his class was selected for a promotional film shown nationally. Earlier he served as coach and director of the Westchester Youth Hockey League. He also accepted offices in various neighborhood school and village organizations.

At Fishers Island, where the family summered, he was appointed manager of Fishers Island Estate (later FIDCO) where for many years he supervised the road network and the water company. He was one of the early directors of FIDCO. He held the office of Commodore of Fishers Island Yacht Club during its years of change and expansion. His hobbies included cruising in his 35-foot sloop, curling in the winter, and golf.

His clubs included Knickerbocker (NYC) Ardsley Country Club, Fishers Island and Chester River Yacht Country Club. He was active in St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, serving as Vestryman, Lay Leader and Director of Acolytes. Later at Emanuel Church he was called upon as Lay Leader Usher and Acolyte.

Services will be held at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Chestertown, MD on July 21, 2007 at 11:00am. Arrangements are by Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam Funeral Home in Chestertown, MD 410-778-0055

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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