May Walpole

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Clara “May” was born on April 13, 1932 in Cape Chin, a small hamlet on the Bruce Peninsula, to parents William David and Christena Margaret (Nixon) Morrow. May was soon joined by younger sister Margaret (1936), before the family moved south to Lion’s Head. David (1938) completed the family. May attended school in Lion’s Head, but left school early to pursue working opportunities in town. Her early jobs in Lion’s Head included being a dishwasher at Williams Hotel, working at Greig’s Corner Store as well as babysitting for members of the community.

In the spring of 1951, May was introduced to a young man by the name of Wray Beverley Walpole. Wray also originated from the Bruce Peninsula and the two hit it off immediately. They were married at Christ Anglican Church, Lion’s Head on October 20, 1951. The young couple soon took up residence in Chesley, as Wray had a job there and they called 3rd Ave. S.W. home. This would remain their family home for the next 66 years. May soon got a job at Remington’s Grocery Store in Chesley and remained there until beginning their family. 

May and Wray welcomed Larry in 1954, Bob in 1956, Gary in 1960 and their daughter Janice in 1964. May kept busy caring and providing for her young family. When Janice was around 3, May returned to work. She began cleaning a few business offices around Chesley as well as a few homes. In time, she also cleaned at Evanlee School. By the early 1970’s a custodial job became available at Elderslie Central School, and May got the job. She was well-respected amongst her colleagues and all the students and was a staple in that school for the next 25 years, retiring in 1997.

Away from work, May loved spending time with her family. The Walpole’s loved camping and made many life-long memories with their children through these experiences. In later years, May and Wray often called the Beach Park in Lion’s Head home in the summer months. Here they enjoyed their holidays and most weekends. Life at the trailer was always enjoyable. Together, the Walpoles also enjoyed gardening. May loved working in the flowerbeds, with Dahlias and Gladiolas being her favourites. In later years, when the grandchildren arrived, May was the first to volunteer to help with the children and absolutely loved spending time with them. No day was complete without talking to or about her beloved family.

When not busy at home, May loved to volunteer her time within the community. She was active in the Boy Scouts Auxiliary, Brownies & Girl Guides, U.C.W., Agricultural Society, Horticultural Society, TOPS, and the treasurer of L.O.B.A. for over 60 years. When not volunteering her time, May loved knitting, crocheting, quilting and sewing. She created countless creations over the years, and even made all her grandchildren their own quilts. If her grandchildren needed something, May was there to create it! Not all her designs were made new, as May was also quite thrifty. She was an amazing talent, and would often rip old coats apart, only to make something new for the kids. She was a fantastic cook and baker, and was renowned for her pies (especially lemon meringue, apple or pumpkin), butter tarts and buttermilk tea biscuits. Birthdays around the Walpole home always included Angel food cake and boiled icing (a.k.a. ooey, gooey icing, as the kids called it) and no Sunday was complete without a fabulous family supper, with all the fixings, prepared by May’s loving hands. If you were to ask her family, I guarantee that there were many other favourites within the household as well. She made all her Christmas squares and cookies and the cookie jar was always full at grandma’s house! This creativity never went to waste either as May loved competing at the Chesley Fall Fair. Each year when the Fair Guide came out, May quickly planned her next few months. She would compete in the areas of arts & crafts, baking, preserves, and of course flowers, receiving countless awards through the years. I am told May kept all her Fall Fair ribbons. She was also known to collect a variety of spoons, salt & pepper shakers and teacups, amongst other things.

May loved Christmas and often began decorating and preparing at the beginning of December. Although not much for travelling, May and Wray did enjoy day trips together, and on a few occasions attended the Royal Winter Fair and Cullen Gardens. Together they attended many performances at the Bruce County version of the Grand Ole’ Opry as well as the Bijou Theatre, always preferring a good comedy. In her downtime, she enjoyed her soaps Edge of Night and Another World. May loved her music, and even taught herself to play the piano. She often played by ear, and occasionally by note, and was known to be playing hymns on the piano when the kids came home for lunch. In addition to traditional hymns, May enjoyed Gospel music, old country, fiddle music as well as the likes of Circle 8 Ranch, Don Messer and Tommy Hunter. In more recent years, May could still be seen tapping her toes to the music as she listened to fiddle and country tunes in the nursing home.

May was a proud, loving woman, who cared deeply for her family. She was compassionate, honest and could be very frugal. May had a good sense of humour, loved to laugh and enjoyed her fair share of socializing. In fact, I am told she kept the telephone busy quite a bit through the years!  

In 2012, May was diagnosed with dementia. Wray loved and supported May, and her every need, for the next two years until he was no longer physically able to do so. In 2014, she moved into Parkview Manor, with Wray regularly riding this scooter across town to visit her. In the fall of 2017, Wray followed suit, and the couple were reunited again. May passed away at Parkview Manor on Sunday, September 27, 2020 in her 89th year.

Loving mother of Larry (Paula), Bob (Donna), all of Chesley, Gary of Chatsworth and Janice (Graham) Waite of Owen Sound. Cherished grandmother of Kyle (Megan), Chris, Shawn (Sabina), Shelby (Jordan), Sherrylee (Isaac), Kate, Adrienne and great-grandmother of Bennett, Elizabeth and Jacob. May will be dearly missed by her brother Dave (Janet) Morrow of Lion’s Head, as well as the entire Morrow and Walpole families. She was predeceased by her husband Wray (2018), sister Margaret Gaunt and her parents William and Christena (Nixon) Morrow.

A public visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Wednesday from 7 – 9 p.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, 25 people will be allowed in the building at any given time, and visitors must wear a mask and follow physical distancing rules. A private funeral service honouring May’s life will be held on Thursday, October 1, 2020 with interment to follow in Chesley Cemetery.

Memorial donations to Parkview Manor Residents Fund would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Submit A Condolence

Fill in the form below to send a public condolence.
To send a private condolence to the family click below.

If you are having difficulty posting a condolence, please email it directly to nathan@rhodyfamily.com and we will post it for you! Sorry for any inconvenience.

25 Condolences
Inline Feedbacks
View all Condolences
Tom & Karen Sweiger
October 9, 2020

Very sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute. Thinking of you at this time.

Gordon and Vicki Smith
October 3, 2020

To the Walpole family, our deepest sympathies on the loss of your mom.

Jim & Judy Sloan
October 1, 2020

Bob & Donna, Sincere sympathy on the loss of your mom May. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Catherine Krause
October 1, 2020

So sorry for your loss. May will be sadly missed at work . Her laugh was heart warming . Our condolences from Herb Dawdy and Catherine and family.

Ron and Gwen Clarke
October 1, 2020

Our deepest sympathy to the Walpole family on the passing of your mother May. I know that it is not easy to loose a parent. I’m sure that you will remember all the great times that you had as a family with her

Jack and Ellen Cavill
October 1, 2020

Our deepest sympathy to Larry, Bob, Gary and Janice and families, your mom was a special person and will be greatly missed by all of you. We are thinking of you.

Valerie Long
September 30, 2020

My sincere condolences to Larry and his family. My thoughts are with you in this difficult time. Stay safe.

Carol M. Jarvis
September 29, 2020

Deepest sympathy to the Walpole families.

Rita Cronkwright
September 29, 2020

The walpole family,
Sorry to hear your loss of May. Her and wray where good neighbors. May God give you comfort in the days to come. Harry and Rita Cronkwright.

St. John's United Church
September 29, 2020

To The Walpole Family: On behalf of St. John’s United Church, please accept our sincere condolences. May and Wray were steadfast members of our congregation for many years and they have been missed. We hope that your memories bring you comfort and please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Dave & Brenda Hamel
September 29, 2020

Larry & Paula and the entire Walpole families, please accept our heart felt condolences at this most difficult time

September 29, 2020

My condolences to the Walpole family.

Cheryl Fleet
September 29, 2020

I remember aunt May as always having an amazing sense of humour. Although I didn’t see her often on occasion she would be at moms and I always enjoyed her company. She was a great lady seemed to always have an endless supply of energy and plans for future projects. My sympathies to all of you, life is never the same without your mom, but I know you will all cherish so many memories.

Lois and Bob Marshall
September 29, 2020

Our deepest sympathy goes out to all of the Walpole and Morrow families as you adjust to the loss of May. She was always such a friendly and caring person. She will be greatly missed.
Lois and Bob Marshall

Colleen and Jim Moran
September 29, 2020

Our deepest sympathy to you all…..

Allan & Diane Wilson
September 29, 2020

Sorry to hereabout Mrs Walpole passing. Our prayers are with the family

Allan & Diane Wilson
September 29, 2020

Sorry to hear about Mrs Walpole’s passing.Our prayers are with the family

Howard and Joyce Hodgson
September 29, 2020

Our deepest sympathy to the Walpole family. Enjoy the wonderful memories you have.

Mike & Joy Gaunt
September 28, 2020

You will be deeply missed Aunt May, our prayers and condolences go out to all of the Walpole clan, feel our arms around you

Jean Brow
September 28, 2020

Oh miss May you will be missed dearly. You touch my heart and other staff. In a very special way. My condolences to your family. I know Ray will be at them golden gates . Wanting for your with his flowers in his hands for you. May god bless you all .

Eric, Carrie, Jill and Joy Schwippl
September 28, 2020

Our sincere condolences to the Walpole family at this most difficult time.

brian crawford
September 28, 2020

So sorry for your loss

Carol Golem
September 28, 2020

Please accept my sincere condolences at this sad time! Allen enjoyed working with May for those many years at Elderslie Central School . May worked very hard and took great pride in her work.
My sympathy to the entire family!

Carol Golem

Marilyn Nixon
September 28, 2020

My nephew David said it all so well. For me, May was related on both sides of the family and also a wonderful friend. When I was a child, Mum would send me to live with May and Wray for times in the summer so she could have a break from a hyper child and deal with all her summer farm responsibilities. Larry was like my little brother in those days. I remember so so many wonderful visits at the trailer parked at Lion’s Head. I was always welcomed at any time that I dropped in to go for a walk or just sit and chat. Mary and Aunt Christie had all the family stories that I enjoyed hearing – some I now wish I had tape recorded. Family was so important to her and those Walpole reunions were something I looked forward to each year. Still have some of those prizes!

David Nixon
September 28, 2020

Many condolences from the Dave and Marion Nixon family in Wiarton.
For me, my brothers Bill & Jim, and my Sister Donna – we’ve known May all our lives.
May and Wray are part of some our earliest childhood memories of drop-in visits at our farm or in Chesley, Nixon reunions, and Walpole reunions too…..VERY GOOD times indeed!!!
To our cousins Janice, Gary, Bob, and Larry AND their families – thank you for sharing this wonderful woman with us.
It is an honour, privelege, and pleasure to know this wonderful person was our Aunt.
May God continue to Bless you as you celebrate a life well-lived.
Dave and Marion

Our Facilities

What Do I Want

Our Pricing

Our Testimonials

I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

The inclusion of the life story is just a beautiful touch and leaves folks feeling that they were truly celebrating a life well lived with all the detail to think about. Thank you for being there for all of us in such a special way, in our greatest time of need.

Deb McCaslin-Teggart

Extremely well done, attention to detail was fantastic. Excellent personal touch. I would recommend their services to everyone

Bob Summers

What Do I Do Now?

Educate Yourself

Private Condolence

Contact Us