James Andrew MAY

James Andrew May

April 16, 1926 to September 14, 2013

James was born in Cardston, Alberta, in 1926. He became a successful entrepreneur, respected businessman, community leader, politician, and mentor. He was a caring husband, father, grandfather and friend.

Jim founded May Contractors, constructing power lines and bringing electricity to many communities in Northern Alberta. He sold that company and subsequently joined Canadian Utilities, later named Alberta Power, and rose through the ranks to become Northern Division Manager.

Jim and his wife Betty lived in Spirit River, Edmonton, Whitehorse, Drumheller and Grande Prairie. Transfers to new locations provided unique opportunities and they made the most of them. Along the way, Jim and Betty raised 3 daughters, learned to ski, helped build 2 ski hills, obtained their pilot’s licenses, made many friends and touched many lives.

In addition to his responsibilities with Alberta Power, Jim served as an Alderman in Drumheller and Grande Prairie, served one term as Mayor in Grande Prairie, was chairman of the Grande Prairie Regional College, chaired several boards, and volunteered with many organizations. His strong work ethic and sense of duty to community and family were mainstays in his life. He led by example and encouraged everyone to do their best. A newspaper article stated “The Mays were about as involved in Grande Prairie as you could get.”

In 1987, Jim and Betty moved to Nanoose Bay. As a transition to retirement, Jim consulted in the high Arctic. He and Betty learned to sail and enjoyed many boating trips along the east coast of Vancouver Island. He spent hours working on the lathe, enjoyed a game of crib, took courses at Elder College, was involved in PGOSA activities and loved scouting used bookstores for western novels. He kept well informed regarding current affairs, local issues and the stock market. Jim always stayed in touch with family and friends.

Jim passed away with his daughters and grandsons at his side. His passing has left a void in many lives. He was well respected and well loved.

Jim was predeceased by his wife, Betty, in 2011. He is survived by his daughters Barbara, Pamela and Nancy, their spouses Graham, Joe and Chuck, and his grandsons Dylan and Owen.

A service was held on Wednesday, September 18th at

Yates Funeral Chapel, Parksville.

If friends desire, a donation in Jim’s memory may be made to the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation, 1200 Dufferin Crescent, Nanaimo BC V9S 2B7 or the SPCA, PO Box 1407, Parksville BC V9P 2H3.

To send a condolence to the family please visit www.yatesfuneral.ca

YATES FUNERAL SERVICE & CREMATORIUM 250-248-5859 in care of arrangements.


Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.