John May

john  may
John was called home on Friday, Feb 26th 2016, at Sanford Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.  John was born on January 16, 1955, in Washington, D.C., to the late John May and Cleo May. He graduated from Western Senior High School.  He went on to play college basketball at Jamestown College and pursued a degree in physical education.  While attending college John established lifelong friendships that he greatly treasured.  John met the love of his life Coleen while at Jamestown College.  They were married in May, 1989.  From this union they were blessed with four children: Jordan, Justin, Alyssa and Jalen.  John's life revolved around his family and basketball. He touched hundreds of lives with his gentle good nature and ability to coach basketball. John leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife Coleen, sons Jordan, Justin and Jalen, daughter Alyssa; brother, Gregory; sisters: Patricia (Everett) Porter; and Carolyn May; maternal aunts: Pauline Briscoe and Linda Harrell; nephews: Reginald, Derrick, Vondell, Malcome, Darrin; nieces: Karen, Asia, Ashley and Danica; Father-in-law, Donald Hofland and mother-in-law, Arlene Hofland of Jamestown, ND; brother-in-law, Curtis (Janice) Hofland of Jamestown; and sister-in-law, Nancy (Jeff) Levin of West Fargo; and a host of other relatives and many dear friends and neighbors.  He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters: Jacqueline Wilson and Janice Galloway. A visitation will be held from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM with a prayer service at 7:00 PM on Thursday, March 3 at Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, March 4th, 2016 at Olivet Lutheran Church, Fargo.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Rest In Peace John, thoughts and prayers with your family, you had a huge impact on my son christian and we will never forget you. God Bless. Skiples

  2. Anna played on John’s Jam Girlz team and really enjoyed, and had respect for him. We are saddened and sorry for your loss and will keep you on our prayers.

  3. Tim and John went way back to the days of Jamestown college so it has been a blessing being able to keep in touch through our boys playing football and basketball together throughout the recent years. We are so deeply saddened to hear of this news. We will never forget the times that John took Jager aside to coach and teach him even if he was just watching from the sidelines. We so appreciated the summer Dike practices and were looking forward to continuing that this summer. John always told us we had a gift, but he was the true gift, giving us words of encouragement and direction on so many occasions. John cared about more than a child’s basketball skills, but about their hearts and character and worked to develop all aspects of a player. We will miss him so very much. Sincerely, The Johnson Family.

  4. From a fellow Jimmie, ’72, I send my sympathies to the family and pray for peace with you all. I knew John casually, and met Jordan this year at the “Y”. Nothing ever but pleasantries from them. God Bless. I am so sorry for your loss.

  5. Dan and I remember John from working with our son Paul, who is around Jordan’s age.
    So sorry for your loss. We will keep your family in our prayers.

  6. Such a truly wonderful man. He was a joy to work with and just a great person. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  7. What a great person!! He coached our son Nick , and we very much appreciated all he did. John will be dearly missed. He was a great friend to Nick , Alice and myself as a coach ,and friend at Hornbachers . Prayers to all the Mays !! From the Swansons .

  8. Thoughts and prayers to the May family. Met John and Jordan at the “Y”, skilled b-ball players and John was always quick with a smile and coaching advice – even for this fellow 1955 old timer. Will miss Coach John, and wish his family peace and comfort in his lasting memory.

  9. My thoughts and prayers are with John’s family. John was an amazing man. I met John as so many of us did playing basketball at the YMCA. There was a very solid core of 15 basketball players that showed up every Saturday morning between 7:55 am and 10:00 am during the mid to late 90’s and John was one person we ALL looked forward to seeing walk in the gym. When John was on your team you would get coached up and play above your abilities. John could find a way to coach you and his teammates to make them ultra competitive no matter the competition. When you played against John you would be tired for the next two days, trying to keep up with him was a huge challenge even for the 20 year olds. Every-time I saw John he always had great smile and he spoke glowingly of his wife and family. What a blessing that so many people got to meet and interact with John. John is a very special person who touched more people than he will realize. I am grateful to have met John and I know Heaven is a blessed to have him. God bless the May family.

  10. Sending prayers for peace and healing to the May family. I went to Jamestown College with John and enjoyed catching up with him in later years at youth basketball tournaments in the FM area. His passion for the game and his family was evident in our brief visits. RIP John May!!

  11. I was proud to call John a friend. What an incredible role model for our youth! Attending a game with John and his family was like attending a class demonstrating how to treat your elders with respect, social manners and being appreciative. Every kid and parent would thank him and genuineness flowed from every vein in John’s body. It was an inspiration to see. I’m a better person for knowing (and laughing) with John. Cindy Simmer

  12. I worked with John at Dakota Boys Ranch years ago. He was such a nice guy. May you find peace in knowing that he touched many lives during his lifetime. Coleen, I also remember you being the counselor at DBR. You helped so many at risk kids. May God watch over you and your children during this sad time.

  13. A message to John’s family;
    Please accept my sincere condolence. Death is such a painful thing to endure, especially when it claims someone we love. Happily Almighty God has already laid the ground work for removing all sickness and death for the human family. This year on the 23rd of March 2016 corresponds to the day when Jesus Gods son, gave his life for mankind. Soon Gods Kingdom will rule this earth as it does heaven then we’ll see the realization of Almighty Gods word found in the bible book of Hebrews chap 2 verse 9, where it says “Christ might taste death for everyone.” Until that wonderful time pray for Gods Kingdom to Come.I’ll pray for your family.

  14. I got the pleasure of meeting John while his son played football with my son. He was a great person. I am so glad that I got to meet him. He always had a smile on his face. My thoughts are with his family during this tough time.

  15. John was simply the best. We will miss him beyond words and send our love and prayers to his wonderful family. Betsy, Kevin, Griffin, Makeer, Deng, and Agot

  16. To Coleen and family: Sorry to hear of John’s passing. We always enjoyed a long-arm wave and smile from across the street when we were working in the yard, and a little neighbor conversation here and there. Carol will not forget the day she got out of the car with a look of agony on her face. As she walked to the house John came hobbling across the street with his cane to find out what was wrong. He said “I know pain and that look was pain” and asked what was wrong. He had a very kind and caring heart. (And a foghorn voice when he wanted to use it!)

  17. We were saddened to hear of John’s passing. Jalen, we are thinking of you and your loss of your father. A great man and teacher of the “game” to many. What passion and poise he had for the game and life. Many remember his coaching ways and always teaching the kids. I will remember your father and husband as someone who always took the time to tell us other coaches how well we were doing or telling us thanks for all the time spent with these boys helping them get better. He was a kind, gentle, and loving father, husband, coach, and friend. He will be missed.

  18. Peace to you all during such a difficult time. Thank you so much for sharing John with our boys – Josiah sure enjoyed playing basketball with him those summer mornings at the outdoor Y courts! What a giving, generous man he was – I sure will miss his cheers at the baseball fields this summer! Prayers to you all. The Deitz Family

  19. To the May Family. John was one of best friends all through High School and for years after that. He always called to check up on me throughout my entire stay in Minneapolis. I’m sadden by the fact my flights out of DCA were canceled due to weather yesterday. I will miss my friend. May he rest in peace.

    William Perry

  20. John was one the most memorable coaches a young athlete could have growing up in the Fargo-Moorhead area. His engaging style gave confidence to all of his players. He genuinely cared about each player when they were a part of his team and when they grew up after you played for him. After my playing days on Just Us with John as my coach, I loved running into him at games or in public as he ask how you were and joke about the days you played for him. A laugh was guaranteed. He was selfless, kind and a great man all around. RIP John. God bless his family during these hard times.

    Reed Stock

  21. So sad to hear of Johns passing. Our son Myles played for John. Some of our favorite memories of Myles playing basketball, were with the Jam Boyz. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

  22. We met the May family when our daughter ended up on the same YMCA youth basketball team as Alyssa. John’s Saturdays were spent coaching Jordon’s team so we didn’t see him often, but when he was there, he couldn’t help coaching those girls from the sidelines. It was like the girls had an extra gear when John was in the gym. A couple of years later, he started to coach the girls with the boys. They didn’t have enough players for a girls team, so John had them play on the boys’ team for their first tournament. The boys weren’t happy about it, but if they were playing for John, they learned everyone deserved a chance. Eventually we had enough girls for our own team, but the JAMGirlz didn’t want to wear orange, they wanted to be pink. We could tell John wasn’t a fan of pink, but if it got the girls excited about playing basketball, he was Ok with it. Eventually he wore pink proudly. Our daughter was happiest when she was playing basketball, and due to John she got the opportunity. We are grateful for the memories and friendships and know that John loved our daughter. Our condolences to the May family and hope these memories make you smile. Also, that you get comfort in knowing that John’s spirit lives on in the many children he has mentored.

  23. John May touched the hearts of many throughout the territory with his good spirit. Lake Park Audubon School District sends its condolences to the May family, friends, and Coleen’s colleagues at the Hawley Intensive Interagency Program. Many treasured memories. You have our sympathy and our thoughts are with you.

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