Lewis H. V. May, a popular physician and former Board member, died Oct. 4. The epitome of an old-time country doctor, he was best known for his down-to-earth, folksy manner.
He was 83.
"Pete," as he was known, was beloved by the patients he served at his Temple City medical practice from 1957-2008.
An active member of the community at large, May sat on the school board for 12 years, from 1971 to 1983. During part of his tenure on the board, he served a term as its president. May was also very involved with his church, Seventh Day Baptist Church in Riverside.
Donald Fickas served on the AUSD board with May for 11 years.
"He held people in charge to a very high standard of good ethical leadership and could look you in the eye and say exactly what he thought," Fickas said of May.
May was born Nov. 20, 1928 to Florene and Homer Harlow May in Salem, WV, a small community nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.
Like so many of his generation, education and career called him away from the rural town he grew up in.
May began his medical training at Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia. There, he met a nurse, Nancy, whom he married the day before his 1951 graduation from medical school.
The young couple ventured west, settling first in Sacramento, where May completed his residency. They eventually moved to Southern California so May could set up his Temple City practice, where he gave his unique brand of wise medical counsel to hundreds of patients.
In 1968, May and his wife moved into the home they built on West Wistaria Avenue in Arcadia to raise their four boys: Chip, Cass, Matt and Pete. Neighbors on Wistaria Avenue remember the boys turning a vacant lot into a race course for dune buggies.
"We were a pretty active family," Chip Mays recalled. "We ParaPlaned, we traveled in Mexico through jungle territory on motorcycles, we went camping."
Insatiable travelers, the family has visited nearly every country in the world.
May's passing sparked an outpouring of tributes from former patients and colleagues.
Patient Alice Tangney cited the stability of the doctor's longtime staff as indicative of the loyalty he showed everyone.
"I think he kept staff members on for years," she said.
Arcadia school board Vice President Joann Steinmeier said she fondly remembers May's efforts on behalf of youths in the elementary grades.
In addition to his wife Nancy, May is survived by sons Chip, Cass, Mathew and Pete, daughters-in-law Penny, Kathi and Karen, and seven grandchildren. May also leaves behind a large cadre of friends, professional associates and patients.
Memorial Services are pending and will take place at the family's church, Seventh Day Baptist Church of Riverside, Ca. An at-home remembrance is also planned.