Russell D. May 1959 - 2021

Russell D. May passed away December 3, 2021, with Shiela May and their daughter, Courtney May, by his side. He was 62 years old. He was born April 12, 1959, to parents Zane and Donna May, and grew up in Dayton, Oregon, on the family farm. Growing up he spent a lot of time at the river with his family, and riding motorcycles as often as he could.

Russell often said that he had begun working on the farm “as soon as he was big enough to move pipe."

He graduated from Dayton High School in 1977. He attended college for a while; what he gained most from that experience was how to guarantee NOT getting the deposit back on apartments. It also was a time with a lot of good memories, and a few fuzzy ones.

His life’s work was farming and it was something he truly loved. After his father retired, Russell and his two brothers, Robert and Jerry, operated the family farm.

Russell married his best friend of 10 years, Shiela Heider, in Las Vegas. Much of that time was spent riding around together in a tractor or corn picker.

In 1998, their daughter Courtney was born, whom he claimed “was the best thing he had ever planted."

In the last several years, Russell had rediscovered his love for riding motorcycles and he often could be found riding in the Amity hills; he loved the view of the Valley from that vantage point. He also had taken up gun collecting and shooting.

Russell was a good friend, neighbor and dad. He had a soft spot for dogs and puppies, the weirder they looked. the more he liked them; his dog “Bubbles” was a perfect example! Russell was devoted to his pets, and they were to him!

Russell was one who didn’t believe COVID-19 was dangerous, except to the very old or frail. After learning he had been exposed, and began feeling ill, he downplayed his symptoms, thinking he could tough it out. This virus has taken a man who is dearly loved. And has left his daughter fatherless much too soon.

Russell is survived by Shiela May and their daughter, Courtney May; sister, Jackie Olsen; two brothers, Robert May and Jerry May; six nephews; and one niece. Russell will also be missed by his beloved dogs, Bubbles, Lucy, Tubby, Snowball, Huck and Honey Bear.

Russell's memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 8, 2022, at the Palmer Creek Lodge, 606 Fourth Street, Dayton, Oregon.  A potluck reception will follow. To leave online condolences, please visit


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