Onilla Essary May, a resident of Colorado Springs since 1974, passed away on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at her home. She was an Air Force officer’s wife, a gifted speaker, and beloved mother and grandmother. She was often referred to as “the life of the party” by her friends and family.
She was born on November 27, 1936 in Denison, Texas to Herman Essary and Pauline (Shaver) Essary.
She graduated from Denison High School and attended North Texas State University in Denton, Texas, as an English major.
On September 2, 1956 she married Ronny Joe May, then a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, now a retired Lieutenant Colonel and retired Colorado State Representative & Senator.
Onilla was very active as a Bible study teacher, retreat speaker, and seminar speaker to Christian women in her church and nationwide. In two different churches, she also served as a church secretary. She and her husband planted Calvary Christian Church in Bellevue, Nebraska. She was a member of Village Seven Presbyterian Church since 1980 where she was a leader, mentor, counselor, and advisor to the women of the church and the president of the WIC council, and was a Titus Woman to MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers). She also helped launch Women At The Well day retreats in 2006. She served six years on the Women’s Advisory Sub-Committee of the Presbyterian Church in America, Atlanta, Georgia. During that time, she worked to help women establish active women’s ministry for churches throughout the Western United States.
Her greatest joy in life was ministry to her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her husband, Ron May; a son, Mark May (wife Amy); a daughter, Marisa May; a sister, Jeanie Davis; seven grandchildren: Melinda Green (husband JJ Green), Melanie May, Micah May (wife Madi May), Rachel Young (husband Josh Young), Matthew May (wife Christina May), Stephen Rogers, and Michelle May; and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a brother, Billy Essary (sister-in-law Joyce Essary still living).
Memorials in Onilla’s name may be made to Village Seven Presbyterian Church Building Fund, or to the ‘Onilla May Memorial’ fund to build the ongoing work of her granddaughter, Melanie, in Uganda, Africa. Checks can be mailed to 6609 Showhorse Ct., Colorado Springs, CO 80922.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Village Seven Presbyterian Church, 4040 Nonchalant Circle South.