JESS BERNARD MAY, 90, of New Haven, passed away on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Born Dec. 16, 1921, he was raised on the farm he tended and nurtured all his life. Jess was “fussed over, coddled, and pampered”, being the youngest, by his eight older sisters. His father, John B. and mother, Clara M. Bueter did not allow him to shirk his chores. All his life, he worked hard planting the fields, making hay, harvesting and tending the livestock and animals of every sort. All of this, Jess grew to love with every fiber in his body and soul, demonstrating throughout his life that “God created the seasons to enjoy all His wonders.” While in the U.S. Navy Amphibious Division during World War II, he served in the Pacific. After returning home from the war, the GI Bill allowed Jess to attend Purdue University’s agriculture program. The young farmer and veteran met Mary M. Brinker at Catholic Youth Organization weekend dances. After the second date, she said “I wouldn’t marry that man if he were the last man on Earth”. Eventually, he proved to Ms. Brinker that his heart was true and she was the woman he loved. The couple married on Oct. 21, 1950, and purchased a farm in New Haven. He had an innate kindliness towards animals and his kindness made them easy to handle. So evident of Jess’s stern but gentle nature was with a cow named Bessie where he made the beast docile and cooperative for her daily milking. In addition to more than 244 acres of grain crops, Jess and Mary planted a vegetable garden and shared God’s bounty with family and friends. They would donate annually to the Ham & Bean Supper at St. Louis Besancon Catholic Church. From a wooded area on the farm, Jess gathered enough fallen timber to keep a stove burning throughout the long and cold seasons. The hard-working husband and father loved to take his young family to Pokagon State Park on Summer Sundays for happy picnics and beach fun. He drove large Oldsmobiles and farmed with red Massey Ferguson farm equipment. The May farm always had plenty of room to park both cars and people from all over for a family reunion. Strewn-tables, games-played and hay rides-given were at these reunions at which Jess was known to watch over tasty barbecues and trade family stories. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Mary M.; and his children and their spouses and companions, Michael (Paula Dyer) of New Haven, Phillip (Candy Bock) of Portage Ind., Thomas (Dianne) May of Fort Wayne, Daniel (Mark Lewis) of New York City, Sharon (Jeff) Hoffman of New Haven, and Douglas of Fort Wayne. Jess is remembered with love by his grandchildren Jason, Simon, Stephen, Joseph, Karen, and Ann; and great-granddaughter, Addison; as well as his sisters, Bernadine May and Terry Cokewood. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Gertrude Schuckman, Louise Tibbett, Alice Sorg, Irene Dieck, Helen Tippmann, and Grace Muldoon. “Jess will be missed and loved in memory.” Prayers at 9:15 a.m. Friday, April 20, 2012, at E. Harper & Son Funeral Home, 740 State Road 930 E., New Haven. Mass of Christian Burial is 10 a.m. Friday, April 20, 2012, at St. Louis Catholic Church Besancon, 15535 Lincoln Hwy E., New Haven. The Father Steven Colchin officiating. Calling is from 1 to 3 and 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19, 2012, at E. Harper & Son Funeral Home Funeral Home, 740 St. Rd. 930 E., 740 St. Rd. 930 E., New Haven, with a rosary at 2:30 p.m. Burial in the church cemetery, with military honors. Preferred memorials are to the Masses. To share online condolences please visit

POSTED: 04/18/12 at 9:26 am. FILED UNDER: Obits