NEW BERN - Cecil Dalton May, 94, died on Tuesday, January 1, 2013, at his home in New Bern after a brief illness. Born on March 31, 1918, in Trenton, to Eva Collins and Dalton Carlyle May, he grew up in New Bern.
Mr. May served in the U.S. Army Air Corp, later the U.S. Air Force, from 1940 to 1948. During World War II, as a B-25 bomber pilot based in the Aleutians, he flew some of the first air raids on the main Japanese islands. Later he became an instructor pilot in the Air Force Training Command, and then served on the staff of the Tactical Air Command. After leaving the military, Mr. May graduated from Duke University and the Duke University School of Law. He was a loyal Duke alumnus and a member of the Iron Dukes for decades. He settled with his family in New Bern, where he practiced law until retiring in 1997.
He was a Commodore of the Eastern Carolina Yacht Club, and was also a Commodore of Tar Heels Afloat. He was a national vice president of the Navy League of the U.S., and a member of its national Board of Directors for more than 16 years, during which time he was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Medal. Mr. May was nominated by the Secretary of Defense to become a member of the Defense Orientation Conference Association (DOCA) after being asked to join the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference in 1973. He remained a member of DOCA until 1987, including service as a member of its Board of Directors. Both groups are non-partisan civilian organizations directed toward the interest of national defense.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Harriet Lane Guion May; and three children, Cecelia Collins May Scott and husband Peter of Raleigh, Haywood Guion May and wife Vicky of Southwest Harbor, ME and Harriet Lane May of Raleigh. He was predeceased by two brothers, Milton Collins May of Tallahassee, Fla. and Dalton Carlyle May Jr. of Atlanta, Ga.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, January 4, 2013, at First Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Bill Hawkins officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at the Session House. Memorial contributions may be made to the
Pollock-Best Funerals & Cremations is assisting the family.