May, Thomas Dale, retired Virginia Department of Forestry supervisor for Charlotte County, VA, and member of the Society of American Foresters since 1963, passed away in hospital, after a brief illness on January 17, 2024. Thomas was born January 13, 1940, in Warren, Ohio, the son of Dale Lawrence May and Laura McKinstry May, who preceded him in death.
He attended school in Cortland, OH, where he loved roaming the woods, trapping, hunting, fishing, observing wildlife, and collecting sap to make maple syrup. Forestry was his selected career, and he began forestry studies at Kent State University in Ohio in 1957, transferring to take a BA degree in forestry from the University of Michigan in January 1963. He worked with the Ohio Division of Parks at Mosquito Lake to earn money for college. Before coming to Virginia, he gained experience working for Osmose Wood Preserving Company in Maryland, Louisiana, and Texas, and for the US Forest Service in New Mexico. He was employed by the then Virginia Department of Forestry in Charlottesville, VA, where he met and married his wife, Rebecca Hutchins, a graduate student at U.VA. He practiced forestry in Louisa County, where he gained valuable experience in Virginia forestry practices. While living in Louisa County, the couple’s daughter Catherine Elaine May was born in Charlottesville. Soon afterward, Tom was assigned to Charlotte County, where he was to remain until his retirement. He enjoyed practicing forestry in beautiful Charlotte County, working with local landowners, and loved to drive around the county pointing to land covered with many thousands of trees planted during his tenure in the county. His other interests were in travel abroad to view forestry practices there, art, antique guns, and country music. He spent many hours sketching unique designs in charcoal and colored pencils. He purchased a few acres of land on Germantown Road where he was able to plant his own small tract.
He is survived by his wife, Rebecca; his daughter, Catherine May McCarey (John); a sister, Linda Rising; and several nephews and a niece.
He and his family have been members of Mt. Calvary UMC church in Drakes Branch, VA. The church is in the process of closure. Cremation interment is planned with no services planned. Memorials will be appreciated by the American Cancer Society, the Plant a Tree program (plantatree.fs.usda.gov), the UMFS (foster care service in Richmond), or a charity of choice.