Mae Bell May was born the youngest of five to Huey and Lillie Washington Lane on September 26, 1928, in McComb, Mississippi. As an infant, she lost her mother and shortly after her father at the tender age of five. Her grandfather Jack Washington and grandmother Icy Kitchen then raised her as their own in Tylertown, Mississippi.
During her high school years, Sister Mae found joy in sports and played on the Walthall County High School basketball team. After high school, she met Joe Rease May who was instantly smitten upon meeting her. Joe would court and eventually ask her grandfather for her hand in marriage. Sister Mae lovingly accepted his proposal and they were wed in Tylertown, Mississippi. They later moved to the Gulf coast where out of this union they had nine children.
Sister Mae worked numerous jobs in her life taking care of the young and the elderly. She became an active member in various churches where she loved to do missionary work. Sister Mae found a home in Main Street Missionary Baptist Church and was a faithful and active member until her health declined.
Some of her favorite pastimes were watching the Price Is Right, listening to spiritual music, and enjoying the fresh air on the front porch.
She departed this life on October 10, 2021, at Ocean Springs Hospital. She was preceded in death by her four brothers: Jep Lane, Phillip Lane, Izear Lane, and Leslie Lane. As well as her loving husband, Joe Rease May and son Joe William May.
She leaves to cherish her memory: four sons and four daughters; Dr. James (Sylvia) May, Dallas, Texas, Clarence May, Ricky May, Biloxi, Mississippi, and Paul (Laura) May, Atlanta, Georgia. Eloise May, Washington, D.C., Thelma May, Biloxi, Mississippi, Dorothy (Herman) Payton, Columbus, Georgia, and Celisa May, Atlanta, Georgia.
Fourteen grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, friends, and caring neighbors.
Sister Mae’s infectious spirit will be dearly missed. As she liked to say in life:
“This is not a goodbye, but see you later.”
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 23, 2021, at Main Street Missionary Baptist Church at 11:00 am. Visitation will start at 10:00 am.
Infinity Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Mae Bell May. For inquiries, please call 228-436-6722.