Christopher May
(1929 - 2015)

Christopher May

October 22, 1929

October 17, 2015

This site is dedicated to Christopher May
October 22, 1929 – October 17, 2015

Please sign the Guest Book.
We were honored and delighted that so many of you joined us for Chris' Celebration of Life ceremony on Saturday, November 21. His cherished fellow barbershoppers, the Capitol Chorus, honored him in stirring, beautiful song; brother Steve emcee'd and spoke, eloquently and handsomely; wife Carolyn danced a rare and breathtakingly lovely dance she'd made for him, to Eva Cassidy' singing "I Know You By Heart" ; his grandchildren sang, and wrote and spoke and drew and laughed; all of those he counted his children: by blood, by marriage, in-law, by love :) --- siblings, cousins, friends, collegues; family by blood and family by love; all spoke from the heart, telling familiar stories and new ones; we did indeed celebrate him as he lived, with joy and song and pleasure in the company of family friends and loved ones. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

"He was a man. Take him for all in all.
I shall not look upon his like again."
Hamlet, I,ii

Christopher May, 85, a retired CIA operations officer and later an attorney representing abused and neglected children, died October 17, 2015 at his residence in the Riderwood community in Silver Spring, Maryland, surrounded by his family. The cause of death was congestive heart failure.
Born in Rochester, New York, on October 22, 1929, the first son of University of Rochester Professor Arthur J. May and Hilda Jones May, he graduated from the Harley School in Rochester, and Magna Cum Laude from Harvard College in 1951. Three weeks after graduation he joined the Central Intelligence Agency. He was a Navy officer from 1952 to 1955, and then returned to the CIA, serving in Washington, DC, Frankfurt-Am-Main, Germany, and Vienna, Austria. He retired from the CIA in 1977.
He received his JD degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1978. For many years he was Vice President of a private Washington, DC mortgage data reporting service. From 1991 to 2005 he practiced law in the child abuse and neglect field in the DC Superior Court, work that he considered the most satisfying of his professional life. After retirement he carried his passion for social and political justice into broad advocacy on behalf of climate stability, diplomacy in the Middle East, and economic fairness in the US and abroad.
In the early 1970s, Mr. May was the founding chairman of the McLean Gardens Residents Association in Northwest Washington and led the successful effort to prevent development of that ethnically diverse, low-to-moderate income rental community into a high-rise, high-income mini-city. While a resident of Deale, Maryland in the mid-1990s, he led another successful community effort opposing construction of a big-box shopping center that threatened the character of the small bayside town.
An avid skier, swimmer, and outdoorsman, Mr. May cherished summer gatherings at the family’s farm in East Union, Maine; in later years he was also delighted to be among the summer denizens on Lake Weslemkoon in Ontario, Canada. A baritone, he loved chorus and quartet singing. In 1954, he joined the DC chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society in time for its triumph as the Society's first International Chorus contest champion. After a hiatus of some years, he returned to the DC Chapter, serving several terms as Chapter president and singing with them up to the time of his death.
His first marriage to Elisabeth Hawkins welcomed their four children into the world, in Frankfurt, Germany. He and Ms. Hawkins parted ways after 16 years of marriage. He leaves behind his beloved second wife, Carolyn Stearns, of Silver Spring; brother Stephen of Washington, DC and his wife Kathryn Wilson; four children from his first marriage, Andrew of Thurmont, Maryland and his wife Joyce; Corinna of Tyringham, Massachusetts and New York City and her partner David Adkins; Brian of New York City and his wife Julie; and Laurence of Silver Spring and his wife Svetlana; two stepdaughters, Rebecca Coles of Cranbury, New Jersey, and Jennifer Coles of Manchester, Massachusetts and her husband David Shaw; and 13 adored grandchildren.
o o o o
A Celebration of Life event for Christopher May was held on Saturday, November 21, 2015 in the Maryland Room, Montgomery Station, in Riderwood Village in Calverton, MD, from 1-4 PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Chris’ name to:; Doctors Without Borders; Heifer International, or a charity of the donor’s choosing.
For more information or written notices, please contact: Stephen May, 4101 Cathedral Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016;

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Guest Book (18 entries)
Mr.May, I will be forever grateful for all your hard work for me and my sons. We will always remember you in our hearts.
Shirron Spivey (My Attorney in Family Cou)
March 29th, 2016
I have fond memories of singing with Chris. He is surely missed by the Singing Capital Chorus. A true gentleman, humanitarian, and person of integrity.
Evan Keely
November 21st, 2015
Farewell to the finest human being I have ever known.
Dan Walter (Friend)
November 16th, 2015
Chris and Carolyn were our next door neighbors for many years in Tenleytown, DC. Chris was a warm, friendly and helpful neighbor. From what I could tell, Chris had his priorities straight; he put people first. It was a pleasure to know him.
Andrew Mohr (Neighbor)
November 12th, 2015
I had the pleasure of working with Chris on child abuse and neglect cases. He was a gentleman, a good lawyer and a kind man whom everyone respected. I am sorry to hear of his passing. My most sincere condolences to all of his family.
Despina Belle-Isle (CCAN Colleague)
November 9th, 2015
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"Chris May was a man with immense character. "A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation. Mark Twain God speed you on your next journey Chris. You will be missed."
Pam Walter
November 18th, 2015


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