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Bessie Mae Bauer May

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Bessie Mae Bauer May Bessie Mae Bauer May passed away quietly in her sleep on September 16, 2008. She had had a brief illness and was prepared to make the transition and meet our Lord. Bessie Mae was born on October 20, 1914 to Fred and Bess Bauer of Beeville where she attended public school. She was a popular teenager and enjoyed all of her friends and was particularly fond of drama and dance. She graduated from Beeville High School in 1931 and attended San Marcos State College and completed her training to become a teacher at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio. She had met a young attorney, John F. May of Kenedy, Texas whom she later married on November 4, 1939. He was the love of her life and they enjoyed 67 happy years together. Bessie Mae and John lived in Kenedy and Karnes City throughout their early years of marriage. She served in the American Red Cross, Women's Society of Christian Service, and the Kenedy Study Club. With the birth of two daughters, Barbara and Beverly Jan, she became active in many civic and school activities and served as "room mother" many times. In 1957, John and Bessie Mae moved to Karnes City where he served as District Judge of the 81st Judicial District. Again, she became involved in many civic activities including the Karnes County Centennial Organization, the Women's Methodist Missionary Service. Her favorite hobby aside from her daily tasks was to keep up with the neighbors and relatives. With a more than idyllic life of the "quiet fifties" she had plenty of time to visit and enjoy life in a small town. She also taught for several years during an emergency overload of students in Karnes City. She will be remembered for her true dedication to others and her endless sense of humor. Once she dressed up like a clown and did a whole two hour program for disadvantaged children. She believed drama would bring hope and language to their lives, and she succeeded at that. With the retirement of her husband in 1978, the Mays moved to Austin where "life with the Longhorns" resumed. They were fans of all UT sports and especially the Lady Longhorns. She particularly enjoyed writing and travel. Bessie Mae will be missed by all. She was disciplined to never say unkind words about people and her lessons remain with those who knew her so well. Her favorite song was "Tea for Two" and she adored all of the music of the '20s and '30s. Almost to her last days, one could hear the strains of Guy Lombardo, Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman coming from her residence. She resided at Cambridge Towers and Westminster Manor in Austin during her later years where she also had many lovely friends. She is survived by her two daughters, Barbara (Amos) Welder of Beeville and Beverly Jan (Jim) Smith of Austin. Her husband preceded her in death in 2005. She is also preceded in death by her brother, Paul Bauer and her sister Gwen Cain. She is grateful for the care she received from Dr. Pelligrini, Rhonda, Gloria, and Vista Hospice in Austin with the help from Valerie Sanders, Rosa Contreras and her wonderful, caring team of nurses and assistants. Funeral arrangements have been made by Eckols Funeral Home in Kenedy, Texas. Visitation will be on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and the funeral will be on Thursday, September 18, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to the First United Methodist Church, 201 North Esplanade St., Karnes City, TX 78118. Eckols Funeral Home, Inc., Kenedy, TX
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Sept. 18, 2008
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