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Memories & Candles

“My family & I are sad to hear of Uncle Jess's passing. I remember spending several weeks,in the summer,on the farm riding the tractor, doing chores ...Read More »
1 of 2 | Posted by: Ed Blotkamp - West Bloomfield, MI

“I am so sorry to hear of the death of Jess Bernard May. He was my Dad's,(Victor J. Deininger) first cousin, as his mother was Anna Bueter Deininger...Read More »
2 of 2 | Posted by: Rita Clare (Deininger) Masanz - IN


Jess Bernard May, 90 of New Haven passed away, April 17, 2012. Born December 16, 1921 and raised on the farm he tended and nurtured all his life, Jess was "fussed over, coddled, and pampered", being the youngest, by his eight older sisters. His father John B. and mother Clara M. Bueter did not allow him to shirk his chores. All his life, he worked hard planting the fields, making hay, harvesting, and tended to livestock and animals of every sort. All of this Jess grew to love with every fiber in his body and soul, demonstrating throughout his life that "God created the seasons to enjoy all His wonders." While in the US Navy Amphibious Division during WWII, Jess served in the Pacific. After returning home from the war, the GI Bill allowed Jess to attend Purdue University's agriculture program. The young farmer and veteran met Mary M. Brinker at Catholic Youth Organization weekend dances. After the second date, she said "I wouldn't marry that man if he were the last man on Earth". Eventually, he proved to Ms. Brinker that his heart was true and she was the woman he loved. The couple married on October 21, 1950, and purchased a farm in New Haven. He had an innate kindliness towards animals and his kindness made them easy to handle. So evident of Jess's stern but gentle nature was with a cow named Bessie where he made the beast docile and cooperative for her daily milking. In addition to more than 244 acres of grain crops, Jess and Mary planted a vegetable garden and shared God's bounty with family and friends. They would donate annually to the Ham & Bean Supper at St. Louis Besancon Catholic Church. From a wooded area on the farm, Jess gathered enough fallen timber to keep a stove burning throughout the long and cold seasons. The hard-working husband and father loved to take his young family to Pokagon State Park on Summer Sundays for happy picnics and beach fun. He drove large Oldsmobiles and farmed with red Massey Ferguson farm equipment. The May farm always has plenty of room to park both cars and people from all over for a family reunion. Strewn-tables, games-played, and hay rides-given were at these reunions at which Jess was known to watch over a tasty barbecues and trade family stories.

He is survived by his loving wife Mary M. of 61 years, and his children Michael of New Haven, Phillip of Portage IN, Thomas of Fort Wayne, Daniel of New York City, Sharon of New Haven, and Douglas of Fort Wayne, and their spouses and companions, Paula Dyer with Michael, Candy Bock with Philip, Dianne May with Thomas, Mark Lewis with Daniel, and Jeff Hoffman with Sharon. Jess is remembered with love by his grandchildren Jason, Simon, Stephen, Joseph, Karen and Ann, and great granddaughter Addison, as well as his sisters Bernadine May and Terry Cokewood. Jess May has been preceded in death by his sisters Gertrude Schuckman, Louise Tibbett, Alice Sorg, Irene Dieck, Helen Tippmann, and Grace Muldoon. Jess will be missed and loved in memory.

Prayers will be 9:15 a.m., Friday, April 20, 2012 at E. Harper and Son Funeral Home, 740 State Road 930 E., New Haven, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. Louis Catholic Church – Besancon, 15535 Lincoln Hwy E., New Haven. The Father Steven Colchin officiating. Calling is from 1 to 3 and 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at E. Harper & Son Funeral Home Funeral Home, 740 St. Rd. 930 E., 740 St. Rd. 930 E., New Haven with a rosary at 2:30 p.m. Burial will be in the church cemetery with military honors. Preferred memorials are to the Masses.

Funeral Home
E. Harper & Son Funeral Home
740 State Road 930 E. New Haven, IN 46774
Tel. (260) 493-4433
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