Cumberland Times-News


January 31, 2013


LAVALE — Elizabeth “Betty” Jean May, RN/EMT, 82, of LaVale, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.

Born on Sept. 10, 1930, in Easton, Betty was the daughter of the late Percy J and Florence Shortall. She was also preceded in death by an infant sister, Ruth Catherine Shortall; her brother, Percy J Shortall Jr. and a very special sister-in-law, Marie Shortall.

Betty graduated from Easton Memorial School of Nursing in 1951 and became a Registered Nurse.

She met the love of her life, Kenneth Lee May, in 1950 and they were married on Jan. 19, 1952. Together they raised three children, daughter Jean, son Walter and daughter Jayne. Betty was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.

Betty worked for a doctor’s office in Frederick during the early years of her marriage. She also worked at Hagerstown Hospital. After moving to Cumberland, Betty worked as a nurse at the Celanese Plant, at Sacred Heart Hospital and at Ruby Memorial Hospital before retiring. After she retired, she continue to serve as a volunteer nurse for those who couldn’t afford medical care.

In 1974, Betty began her next career as an Emergency Medical Technician with LaVale Volunteer Rescue Squad, where she was a member for 39 years. During that time she served as Captain and as Crew Leader. In addition, for over 20 of those years she was in the top ten of number of calls responded to. Betty also enjoyed doing presentations for the young children at day care centers and at elementary schools. Betty was well known in the EMS community for her commitment of time and for her willingness to help many people. Whenever she heard of someone in need, Betty was ready to help.

Betty was a member of  Our Lady of the Mountains Parish, St. Patrick Church in Cumberland.

Betty leaves behind her husband of 61 years, Kenneth Lee May, of LaVale; daughter Jean Elizabeth Smith and husband Bill, of Victoria, Texas, son Walter K May II and wife Diane, of Westernport, and daughter Jayne May Miller and husband Jeff, of Ellicott City; grandchildren, Jennifer Smith, of Victoria, Texas, Robert May, of Gaston, N.C., Kristina May, of Westernport, Elizabeth Smith, of Houston, Texas, Camille Miller, of Ellicott City and Matthew Miller, of Ellicott City and great-granddaughter Stephanie Banditrat, of Cypress, Texas. She also leaves behind her second family, the members of LaVale Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Visitation will be held at Hafer Funeral Service, P.A., Chapel of the Hills, 1302 National Highway, LaVale, on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, from 1 to 3 p.m.  

A memorial service will follow at 3 p.m. in the funeral home with Deacon Harold Bradley officiating and Pastor Diane May assisting.

Betty’s favorite saying was “Flowers are for the living, not for the dead.” In lieu of flowers, please honor Betty’s wishes by sending donations to LaVale Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 3343, LaVale MD 21504.

Condolences to the family may be posted after Mrs. May’s obituary at


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