Patricia Paulette May

Hesperus resident Patricia Paulette May died of pancreatic cancer Sunday, March 3, 2013, at her home. She was 68.

Mrs. May was born to J. Pauline and Ralph Clutts on June 11, 1944, in Santa Maria, Calif. She graduated from high school in Melvin, Ill., in 1962, and from Illinois State University in Normal with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1966. In 1986, she completed a Master of Arts at Adams State College in Alamosa.

On June 25, 1966, she married Wesley A. May in Sibley, Ill. The couple had one son together.

Mrs. May was a teacher at Durango High School for 30 years, where she was the chairwoman of the Mathematics Department for 22 years. She taught several math classes from the junior high school to college level. During her teaching career, she also taught in Peoria, Ill.; Kent, Ohio; Washington, Ill.; and Denver as well as at Smiley Junior High School. Mrs. May’s teaching career spanned 43 years until her retirement in 2009.

“Many Durango residents who attended Durango High School and Smiley Junior High loved and respected Patricia from her many years of teaching,” her family said. “Some of her former students now have children who knew her as their teacher as well. She was proud to have touched the lives of so many people and the students that she taught in Durango.”

Mrs. May was busy with her son’s school activities and Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts while working full time. She also taught Sunday school and helped her husband with their business, May Insulation.

Mrs. May loved to travel. She visited Europe and many states in the U.S. She was especially happy when riding her Harley-Davidson at summer events in Taos and Ruidoso in New Mexico, Sturgis, S.D., and Sedona and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

“She was a fantastic cook and was well-known for her great desserts,” her family said.

Mrs. May is survived by her husband of 46 years, Wesley May, of Hesperus; son, Michael May, of Durango; sister, Janet Olson, of Illinois; brothers Steven Clutts of Kentucky and Douglas Clutts of Ohio; and several nieces and nephews.

Cremation has occurred. A celebration of life will be held at later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Hood Mortuary, 1261 East Third Ave., Durango, CO 81301. The contributions will go to her favorite local charities supporting education and animal welfare.