Cover photo for Ronald J. May's Obituary
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1957 Ronald 2024

Ronald J. May

July 3, 1957 — May 15, 2024

Wichita, KS

Ron May passed away on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at age 66, peacefully, with family and friends by his side.
 
He is survived by: son Andrew May (wife, Kate Torgovnick May); sisters Karen May and Kathy Hardgrave (husband, David Hardgrave); mother, Lorna May; nieces Amber Guettler (husband, Tristen Guettler) and Alicia Gates (husband, James Gates); nephews Daniel Hardgrave (wife, Francesca Hardgrave), Ben Robinson (wife, Colette Ruscheinsky), and Travis Robinson; and great nieces and nephews Mason Hardgrave, Landon Guettler, Ellie and Brooks Gates, and Layla, Alana, and Talia Robinson.
 
He was preceded in death by: father Jim May, sister Lorene May, and his beloved wife, Crystal May (née Robinson).
 
Ron was born on July 3, 1957, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to parents Jim May and Lorna May (née Dale). Drawn to music and church community, he studied the bible, church music, and Christian education at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. He went on to get his Masters in Church Leadership at Moody Bible Institute. He'd recently moved to Illinois and was looking for shoes for his new job as an Associate Pastor at Wildwood Church. That's how he met Crystal Robinson, who was working at the shoe section of Sears in Moline. They were married on October 22, 1983, at Wildwood Church. They gave birth to their son, Andrew May, on October 12, 1987.
 
Ron worked at Wildwood for just over 33 years, with a short stint at Shawnee Bible Church in Kansas City. In 2017, he moved to Wichita, Kansas, to become the Executive Pastor at First Evangelical Free Church. Over his seven years there, he oversaw two major building initiatives, provided guidance to the church staff, and worked to mentor ministry leaders.
 
Ron loved making ice cream, especially for the staff at First Free, a different flavor each month. He enjoyed making things in his wood shop for the people he loved, be it a crib, a desk, or a table. He officiated his son's wedding, and went on a number of adventures through Europe and the Southwest with Andrew and his wife Kate, accompanying them for boating, escape rooms, good meals, and inappropriately long hikes.
 
Ron was that rare person who listened more than he spoke. Who was easy to trust and cared deeply for those around him. He could talk thoughtfully about his faith, and always found the subtlest way of making you smile.
 
He dedicated his life to caring for others, and will be dearly missed.
 
His visitation will be 6-8pm on Tuesday, May 21 at Cozine Life Events Center, 11500 E 21st St N, Wichita, KS. His memorial service will be 10am on Wednesday, May 22 at First Evangelical Free Church, 1825 N Woodlawn Blvd, Wichita, KS. 

Additional visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, May 23, 2024, at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Ltd., 6601 38th Avenue, Moline, with memorials given in Ron's name to cancercare.org.  Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 24, 2024, at Riverside Cemetery, Moline.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald J. May, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm

Cozine Life Events Center

11500 E 21st St N, Wichita, KS 67206

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Memorial Service

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am

First Evangelical Free Church

1825 N Woodlawn Blvd, Wichita, KS 67208

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Visitation

Thursday, May 23, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm

Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory

6601 38th Ave, Moline, IL 61265

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Graveside Service

Friday, May 24, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am

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