Donald "Gootchie" James May Sr., 74, of Red Lake, died Friday, March 27, 2009, at the North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji.
The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the St. Mary's Catholic Church in Red Lake with Rev. Pat Sullivan officiating. Visitation will begin at 3 p.m. today at the Red Lake Community Center in Red Lake and continue until the time of service Tuesday. Cremation will follow at the Cease Family Cremation Services of Bemidji.
Pallbearers will be Tyrone May, Rowdy May, Rob May, Ricky Johnson, Roger Johnson Jr., Tony May Jr., and Greg Barrett.
Honorary pallbearers will be Henry Sayers Sr., Tom May, Jerry Jones, Tom Lussier, Billy Hill, Orlie Donnell, Lydell Roberts, Vernon Clark Sr., John Jourdain, Floyd Jourdain Jr., Joseph May Jr., John Sumner Sr., and Melvin May Sr.
He was born April 22, 1934, to Elizabeth May in Red Lake. He graduated from high school in 1951 at the Flandreau Indian School in Flandreau, S.D. He enlisted with the U.S. Army in 1951 during the Korean Conflict. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division as an airborne ranger deployed in combat in Korea. He was a well decorated veteran who served with valor in combat. He received numerous awards and medals. He achieved the rank of master sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1955. He married Rosella Hart in 1955, and they had seven children. He worked as a commercial fisherman, trapper, hunter and electrician. He married June Morrison in December 1978 in Red Lake, and they had five children. He worked for 21 years at the PHS Indian Hospital in Red Lake, and retired as maintenance supervisor in June 1999. He then worked as facilities manager for the Seven-Clans Thief River Falls Casino property until he had to quit because of health reasons in the spring of 2008.
He is survived by his wife, June May of Red Lake; sons, Donald (Rhonda) May Jr., Tony May, Dean May, Chris (Arlene) May, and Rick May, all of Red Lake; five daughters, Denise May, Bonnie (Leonard) May, Jessica (Lydell) Roberts, Amanda May, and Emmy May, all of Red Lake; brothers, Floyd Jourdain Sr. of St. Paul, Minn., and Walter Jourdain of Bowie, Maryland; sisters, Kathy Jourdain Johns of Minneapolis, Minn., and Rita Jourdain Weise of Red Lake; 28 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his mother; grandparents, Antoine and Cora May; sister, Mary Jourdain Sayers; brother, Phillip Jourdain; son Robin May; and daughter, Valerie May.
Messages of condolence can be sent to ceasefuneralhome.com.