Ocean Beach 05

Gordon E. May

July 25, 1928 ~ December 30, 2021 (age 93)


Gordon E. (Joe) May, age 93 of Stoughton, passed away December 30, 2021, peacefully surrounded by family. He was a long-time resident of Stoughton, also living in Madison for 30 years.  Gordon was born in Minden, Nebraska July 25, 1928, to Grace (Atchison) & Paul May, Sr.  He attended Stoughton Public Schools and graduated in 1946.

Gordon spent two years in the U.S. Army where he was trained at the Army Intelligence School, in Fort Riley, Kansas and served in Intelligence Operations with the 88th Infantry Division in Italy.  After discharge, the G.I. Bill allowed him to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a bachelor’s degree of Sociology, in three years.  He had the privilege of joining other veterans on the Badger Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in September 2013.

Survivors include his five children:  Mary Jo (Dan) Davis, Marcia Tarrant, Margie May of Stoughton, Margy May and Michael May of Oregon, and his step-children Michael Hotchkiss and Renee (Hotchkiss) Johnson and their families. He is further survived by four grandchildren:  Betsy (Matt) Towns, Mari Davis, Justin and Eddie Blumenthal, and great grandchildren, Malcolm and Noah Towns and Lydia Davis.  In addition to his parents, Gordon was preceded in death by his first wife and mother of his children, Betty (Holtan) May, his second wife, Ardell (Hotchkiss) May, brother, Paul May Jr., daughter-in-law, Lisa May, special niece Jean Reid and other family members.

Gordon worked for the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration where he managed state properties for thirty years before retiring in 1987 at the age of 59.  He was an avid sportsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing with his father, brother Paul and son Mike.  He also raised Brittany Spaniels and ran them in Field Trials throughout the Midwest.  Gordon loved golfing at Stoughton Country Club with his “Cronies’” as he called them.  In the 1980s he opened the Quill & Brush Art Gallery of Stoughton with his wife, Betty.  Gordon loved music and enjoyed the Big Band Era.  He had the good fortune to attend performances of many of the big names - Louie Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Glen Miller to name a few.  He loved the Chicago Cubs, Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers.   Gordon was very proud to be a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune where he was the Grand Prize Winner of a new car and merchandise.  He had a great love for Florida’s emerald coast and spent 30 years wintering in Destin Florida. Gordon was a member of the Stoughton Country Club, Bethel Lutheran Church and American Legion Post 59 of Stoughton and served on the Stoughton School Board in the 1970s.

Gordon felt that family was the most important aspect of his life.  His family was his world and he loved spending time with his children and their families. The family would like to thank Gordon’s Caregivers and Agrace Hospice for the excellent in-home care they provided, and are grateful for the dedication, kindness and friendship that they gave Gordon and his family.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 22 at 11:00 a.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church of Madison.  The family will receive friends at the church one hour before the service. In lieu of flowers monetary gifts can be sent to:  Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg or The American Parkinson’s Organization Wisconsin Chapter. www.apdaparkinson.org/community/wisconsin

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gordon, please visit our floral store.


January 22, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Bethel Lutheran Church of Madison

Memorial Service
January 22, 2022

11:00 AM
Bethel Lutheran Church of Madison

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