Nancy "Nan" May

nancy may

January 31, 1952 ~ September 21, 2018

Resided in: Asheville, North Carolina

Nancy “Nan” Page May has “Gone to Glory” on Friday, September 21, 2018 peacefully in the comfort of her home in Asheville. Nan was born January 31, 1952 in Bismarck, North Dakota to the late Col. RJB Page and Eileen Cummins Page. Being the daughter in a career Army family, she lived all around the world with stints in Washington, Hawaii, Virginia and finally, the Pages retired to Raleigh, North Carolina where Nan attended and graduated from Enloe High School. She later attended Western Carolina University and graduated in 1974 with a BS degree in Education. It was here she caught the eye of Gene May with her natural beauty, but it was her gentle and caring nature passed down from her mother that really made her become his sweetheart. They married in November of 1974, moved to Asheville in 1975, and established this as their home. Nan will be remembered first and foremost as a loving and devoted wife and mother of four beautiful children. She will also be remembered for her infectious smile and laughter. There was nothing she loved more than being a part of her children’s lives. When not at home with her family, Nan occasionally rolled the dice with her Bunco Babes. She had a strong sense of adventure as she made many memorable trips with Gene and crew to Hawaii, NYC, Alaska, and one of her favorites, Ocean Isle Beach. Nan served as a volunteer in the Buncombe County Schools System for many years and held lots of different titles from PTO President to soccer team Photo Diva. She was later employed at Estes Elementary School until her diagnosis of a Glioblastoma Brain Tumor in 2013. Nan was a true warrior and fought her cancer for 5 ½ years drawing strength from her devoted relationship with the Lord. Nan is shining down her love for all of us from heaven with her “lippy sticky on-y”. The family wants to thank her awesome doctors and caregivers at Cancer Care of WNC, Duke University Medical Center and the last 6 months Hospice Nurse, Roxi Hanson, CNA Kathy Philbeck, and special caregivers Jerrika Jeter and Larysa Law. In lieu of flowers, we ask that memorials be directed to the Western Carolina Foundation at 1 University Way, Cullowhee, NC 28723 to benefit The Killian Education Fund. Checks should be made payable to WCU Foundation with “Killian Fund in memory of Nan May” within the memo section; or memorial contributions to Team Hope4Nan at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. Checks should be made payable to Tisch Brain Tumor Center with “in memory of Nan May” in the memo line and can be sent to the Tisch Brain Tumor Center, DUMC Box 3624, Durham, NC 27710. Nan will continue to watch over her husband, Gene; brother, Tom Page & his wife, Karen; sister, Sue Brenzel; sister in law, Susan Page; children Sarah & Mike Leech, Andrew & Katie May, Margaret & Donovan Beadle and Robert & Kayleen May; her six grandchildren Afton, Ava Caroline, Isla, Everleigh, Adalyn, Emory, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Bob Page. Family, friends, and others whose lives Nan touched are invited to a Memorial Service at 2:00 PM on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at Grace Community Church (495 Cardinal Rd. Mills River 28759) with a Celebration of Life to follow at Wicked Weed Funk House (95 Old Shoals Rd. Arden 28704). For those who are unable to attend the Celebration of Life, Nan’s family will also receive friends at Grace Community Church on Saturday, October 13 from 1:00 until 2:00 PM. Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family and a message of condolence may be sent via the guestbook below.

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Memories Timeline


  1. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. Nan was a wonderful person and loved children. I remember Nan from when I worked at Estes. Such a great loss.

  2. Nan was a shining light and a real fighter as evidenced by her 5 1/2 year battle with cancer. I am sure that how much she will be missed cannot be stated. Our prayers for Gene and his wonderful family.

  3. I remember Nan’s beautiful smile and warm laugh. She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. We send our love, prayers and sincere condolances to Gene and all of her family.

  4. My thoughts and prayers are with you all right now. I will always remember Nan fondly from her time as my Sunday school teacher at Calvary. She was wonderful person with a big heart. Love to you all.

  5. Heaven just gained a beautiful angel. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to work with Nan. I loved our little chats. She was a beautiful and special soul. My prayers and condolences are with the entire family.

  6. I worked with Nan at WLOS in the late 70’s. She was a marvelous lady and such a pleasure to work with. My sympathies to Gene and the entire May family.

    Stan Crumley

  7. My deepest condolences to the May family. I had the privilege of knowing Nan at Central Methodist’s Thru-the-Week School and the joy of being Margaret’s three year old teacher.

  8. I am so sorry to hear the news of Nan’s passing! I knew her from her time at Estes Elementary. What a lovely lady with a beautiful smile that radiated the joy and love she had for others. I never saw her without that bright countenance! She was truly an amazing woman and will be deeply missed! I extend my deepest sympathies to you all.

  9. Sarah my condolences and prayers for you and your family You are a living tribute to her legacy of a sweet, kind and compassionate woman.

  10. Sending peace and love to the entire May Family. The girls and I will always remember Nan’s beautiful smile, sense of humor, words of encouragement, and her loving and caring soul. Love to all of you, Kim, Carly and Kristen Moree

  11. Gene and family, I am so sorry to hear of Nan’s death. She was one of the sweetest women I have ever met and always had a kind word for others even though she was suffering herself! She was a beautiful lady inside and out. Heaven gained a beautiful angel when she died.

  12. I know the loss of your wife, mother, and family member must hurt deeply. And all of us who knew Nan in so many different ways feel some of that hurt. A beautiful person whose friendliness, creativity and high ideals made a wonderful model that inspired all of us in the Estes/Valley Springs/TC Roberson community. Life has a jagged hole in it now, but Nan would not have us grieve for long. She would want us to be about contributing to our community.

    I will be unable to make it to her service, but please know how very much I admired Nan, and how appreciative I am for all she did for the children at Estes Elementary School.

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