William Stephen “Bill” May became a member of God’s Household May 28, 2021.
Bill was born to William Ercell and Ruth Ann Ruddock May on Aug. 30, 1933 in Gonzales County. He had a sister, Betty Marie Ritchie, and a brother, Leonard Elton May. Bill was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Gonzales.
Bill was preceded in death by his best friend and wife, Patricia Nadine “Dean” Thomas, as well as his parents and both siblings.
Bill and Dean raised and are survived by four children, Steve May and wife, Libby, of Bryan, Texas, Ken and Beth May of White Oak, Texas, Rick and Marvalee May of Seguin, Texas, and Leann and Terry Weathermon of Trinity, Texas. They have been blessed with 13 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and numerous step-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by one cousin: Brenda May Laird of Conroe, Texas
Bill graduated from Gonzales High in 1951 and went to work for Checkerboard Feeds. After a few years he got invited by one of his friends to move to Dallas and go to work with him in the exploration surveying business. His first job was in North Dakota. When the weather got too cold to drive a stake in the ground they would relocate back to Texas. One trip took them to Olney, Texas where Bill met the love of his life, Patricia Nadine Thomas. It was love at first sight, or “first wink”. They married June 12, 1953.
They traveled to many locations in many states in an Airstream trailer. After deciding to start a family they moved back to Gonzales and Bill worked as a bookkeeper for a local feed company. Shortly after that he got the call to work selling insurance for Farmers Ins. Co and many years later, he became an independent agent. He retired from the insurance and bookkeeping business in 1992.
As a young boy Bill had wonderful memories of walking with his grandfather down a dirt country road to Buck Hinton’s store in Wrightsboro. While his grandpa and Mr. Hinton would sit and visit, Little Bill would sit on the edge of the porch and dangle his feet in the sand while drinking a big bottle of orange soda-pop that Mr. Hinton would buy him.
It was this memory of that old country store that inspired Bill and Dean to build the M-6 Trading Post. He kept the vision of that old store in his mind as family, friends and local carpenters erected his new pride and joy. Anyone that walked past that screen front door was taking a step back to an earlier place in time. There was always an afternoon domino game going on in the corner. Eventually the place became so popular that a shelf was taken out to make room for another domino table. The May family Grandchildren grew up dangling their feet off of the front porch of “Big Bill” and “Grannie Dean’s” store often drinking a big bottle of soda-pop.
Bill took raising cows sometimes as a hobby but mostly he took it seriously. Most Saturdays you would find him sitting with his buddies in the arena of Gonzales Livestock Commission. He and Dean spent many hours in a big garden they grew for many years.
He always loved camping on the Guadalupe and running troutlines as well as bass and crappie fishing at Lake H-5. He golfed until he couldn’t anymore. He was proud of his service in the local Elks Lodge even all the way up to the State Level.
Bill never ignored his family. He loved to share in the successes and accomplishments of all of his children and grandchildren and friends. Family gatherings were always his favorite times, whether it was Christmas or just a fish fry or barbecue in the backyard. He considered our friends as members of our family.
The family wishes to extend a thank you to his caregivers and hospice nurses that guided him and us through this time and to this day.
We hope you will join us at another family gathering at his memorial service on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at First United Methodist Church Gonzales at 11 a.m. Family will receive friends at the church starting at 10:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in memory to the Texas Elks Childrens Fund at: Texas Elks Endowment, Inc. – 1963 FM 1586, Gonzales, TX 78629.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home.