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Peter James May

Obituary for Peter James May

February 3, 1959 - October 4, 2021
Wakefield, Massachusetts | Age 62

Obituary

Peter James May was born in Boston, MA on February 3, 1959 to Charlotte Woods and James May. The youngest of five, his siblings include Henry May, Catherine May, the late John May, and David May. Peter spent his entire childhood in Northborough, MA, where he grew up playing baseball, soccer, and listening to his older brothers, John and David, play various styles of rock and roll in their home. Home and music coexisted as core parts of Peter's ethos throughout his life. No one could ever step into Peter's home without hearing music, typically 1970's pop (Bee Gees especially).

Peter graduated from Algonquin Regional High School as class president and captain of the soccer team in 1977. Four years later, he graduated from Clark University in Worcester, MA with majors in political science and economics.

He met the love of his life, Eileen Shannon, while attending Clark. Peter and Eileen began their relationship playing Eileen's favorite sport, basketball. Peter lost every game and frankly was not much competition, but Eileen admired his commitment to be with her along with his goofy style and sense of humor. Several years later, Peter surprised Eileen during one of her morning runs, when he jumped out of the woods and asked her to marry him. They were officially married on September 4, 1983. About a decade later in 1993, they were blessed with the birth of their son, Connor May.

Peter spent almost the entirety of his professional career in the insurance industry as an underwriter in the areas of excess and surplus, standard market, and primary and excess. He finished his career as senior vice president for Avondale Insurance Associates.

In addition to his insurance career, Peter took his affinity for music to the professional level as a disc jockey for much of his adult life. Known for his charisma and keen ability to play the right song for the moment, Peter thrived in this space. Many friends knew him as PJ the DJ. In addition to disc jockeying for many weddings, he enjoyed playing music for local town events, such as the Italian Festival, Wakefield Basketball Association championship games, and Wakefield Little League events.

Peter loved Wakefield. He first moved to Wakefield with Eileen and Connor in 1994. He enjoyed coaching Connor in a variety of sports in town. When he wasn't coaching, he volunteered to help the teams in other ways, such as recording games or providing food and drinks. He met many of his neighbors during his daily walks with his dogs on Garden Lane, Alyssa Drive, Lowell St, and Salem St. Peter mastered the art of the big hello, and he practiced it often with his neighbors. After knocking on 1,500 doors in 2016, Peter secured a position on Wakefield's Town Council. Serving on the Town Council was one of the greatest honors of Peter's life. He would often say: "I don't vote for a party, I vote for the W (Wakefield)," gesturing a W with his hands over his head.

Peter was a beautiful soul, gifted with the ability to illuminate the light in so many others. He passed away peacefully in his home with his wife, son, and other loved ones by his side on October 4, 2021. He is survived and will be deeply missed by his wife, Eileen Shannon, his son, Connor May, and many more family, friends, and colleagues.

The family will host a visitation on the Wakefield Lower Common on Friday, Oct 8 from 5-7pm. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Florence Church, 47 Butler Ave., Wakefield on Saturday, Oct 9 at 10am. Interment, Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Peter J. May Scholarship Fund, c/o The Scholarship Foundation of Wakefield, Inc., PO Box 321, Wakefield, MA 01880.

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • The Peter J. May Scholarship Fund
    c/o The Scholarship Foundation of Wakefield, Inc.
    PO Box 321
    Wakefield, MA 01880

Arrangements By

McDonald Funeral Home

19 Yale Avenue
Wakefield, MA 01880
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