He was married to Laura May and was a World War II veteran.
Staff Sergeant May was a member of a C-47 Commando Transport with the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron, 403rd Troop Carrier Wing. On April 29, 1952, he was participating in the evacuation of the American wounded from Korea when it crashed into the sea near the beach at Dentist C Cho-Do while enroute from Seoul to Cho-do Island, killing all on board. Staff Sergeant May was awarded the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Korean War Service Medal.
He was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in his hometown of Erwin, Unicoi County, Tennessee.