Janet Lee May, 79, passed peacefully away on the fall solstice, Sept. 22, 2013, with her family among her at her home in Hood River. Janet was born on Sept. 26, 1933, to Joseph Alexander and Esther Mary Hauru Parks. She grew up in the Pine Grove area and attended Hood River schools, and she graduated from Oregon State University in 1956 with a teaching degree.
Janet married John “Jack” May in 1957 and had two children, Elizabeth and Joseph.
She spent 35 years as an elementary teacher in the Hood River school system. She loved both teaching and her students, and claimed to have the best class in school each year she taught. She retired in 1990 and occasionally substituted the next few years.
After her husband died in 2005 she was able to travel locally and overseas with her good friend June Halliday. She was fascinated by the different cultures she experienced and the two had many interesting stories, most of which were about the people they met. Wherever they went the world was their friend. She also had many family and friends with whom she loved to travel with or spend time.
Janet loved to care for her flower gardens and lawn on her 2 acres and she spent much of her time mowing and weeding during the summer, and collecting and burning the many oak leaves in the fall.
Janet was generally unflappable, but she always felt a little bad when Jimmy Williams would tell her he liked her sister Shirley more than her.
Janet is survived by her sister, Shirley Nickelson, daughter, Elizabeth Rinaldis, son, Joseph May, grandchildren Staci Smith and Ryan Smith, and great-grandson, Jack Cole.
Janet had cancer but remained very strong and positive in her last months and was laughing with friends literally to the very end. Those of us who were blessed to be around her during that time witnessed a resolve, clarity, and love that will last with us forever.
Janet wanted to thank all her friends for making her last months so special, and we want to thank you, Janet, for your presence and all you taught us.
Please make donations to Heart of Hospice or the Elks Club Student of the Month program.
Condolences are being received online.
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