William Lester May was born on October 28, 1928, in Ashe County to parents Marvin and Grace Ragan May. He enlisted in the Navy on January 15, 1948; and after his initial service term, he joined the Air Force in 1952. He stayed in the Air Force for twenty-three years and served during the Vietnam War. He retired from the military on November 30, 1971.
Sergeant May traveled to many places throughout his military career: Thailand, Germany, Holland, Hawaii, and Alaska. He loved telling stories of his travels; and his hobbies included fishing, gardening, listening to music, and spending time with his grandchildren. He was an avid solitaire player.
He was awarded a Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and an Air Force Good Conduct Medal.
Sgt. William May died at the age of 91 on May 16, 2020. He was survived by three daughters, Shawna May and boyfriend Michael Wilson, Terry Blevins and husband Billy, Sandy Shatley and husband Tim; seven grandchildren, Noah, Leeper, Trajan, Kyra, Fran, Charity, Lakota, and Tanner; five great grandchildren, Boston, October, Riley, Ellie, and Huck; also surviving are four nieces, Joy, Julia, Rebecca, and Linda.