By Paul Schmitt
Long-time businessman and Sturgeon Bay Rotarian Karl May passed away at the age of 75 last Thursday. May was a life-long resident of Sturgeon Bay and was an active member of the National Association of Realtors and the Door County Board of Realtors for over 50 years. He also was a real estate appraiser and had a tax preparation business. Sturgeon Bay High School classmate and close friend John Herlache remembers May as a man of generosity and community service.
Herlache says May, along with Otto Andre and Ralph Herlache, started the Rotary Youth Exchange program in the district. May also hosted 13 foreign exchange students over the years. The funeral service for Karl May will be at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 11:00 am this Friday. You can find the complete obituary from Forbes Funeral Home below.
Karl S. May, age 75, Sturgeon Bay, passed away Thursday evening, September 7, 2017, following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born to Bernard E. and Dorothy May on July 12, 1942.
Karl attended St. Joseph’s Grade School, graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School (1960), and graduated from St. Norbert College (1965) with a degree in Business Administration.
Karl married Erika Fleig on September 25, 1965, at St. Joseph’s in Sturgeon Bay. He was a member of Saints Peter and Paul in Institute.
Karl is survived by his wife of 51 years; son, Erik (Shawn) May; daughters, Tia (Scott) Bellisle, and Gretchen (Michael) Cihlar; grandsons: Drew (Kendall) and Derek Kramer (Fiancé, Jenny Mejia), Brody May, and Emmett Cihlar; granddaughters: Sophie May and Lilly, Lucy, and Winnie Cihlar; great- granddaughters: Iris, Jordan, and Hailey Kramer. He is further survived by sisters, Elizabeth (John) Asher and Suzanne (Charles) Wagner; special friends, Dick and Sue Boes and Merilee Doerr, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Karl was very proud of his achievements in scouting culminating in becoming an Eagle Scout. After graduation from St. Norbert College, he joined his father, Bernard “Pat” May, and uncle, Leon May, at May Realty. He was a proud member of the National Association of Realtors and the Door County Board of Realtors for more than 50 years and was most proud of the Gayle E. Zahn Distinguished Service Award. He was also a real estate appraiser. For more than 25 years, Karl was a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals. He joined the tax preparation business of his father and uncle, Leon May, and continued participation until his death. When asked what he was most proud of in his business life, he said the growth of May Tax Service.
Community involvement was also very important to Karl and he was a member of the hospital board for many years. Karl was also very active in Rotary as President, Board member, and Youth Exchange Officer for many years, hosting 13 exchange students. He was recognized several times as a Paul Harris Fellow, an achievement he was most proud of. The Raibrook Foundation was very dear to his heart. He served that organization as its treasurer and as a board member until the time of his death.
His parents, Bernard and Dorothy May; two sons, David and Patrick May; and brothers-in-law, Thomas Fleig and Arnold Heiskala preceded Karl in death.
Visitation will be Thursday, September 14, from 2 to 7:00 pm at Forbes Funeral Home. The funeral service will be at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 11:00 am with visitation starting at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established.
The family sends special thanks to Unity Hospice for outstanding care of Karl during his battle with cancer, with special gratitude to Gwen and Angie.