Lester William May, 79 years of life, passed away on July 4, 2014, at his home in Chattaroy.
He was born on Jan. 22, 1935, in Leavenworth, Wash. As a young boy his family moved to Spokane and then to the Chattaroy area where he attended the Mt. Kit Carson School and the Riverside schools.
During his high school days he met his wife, Louise (Mitzi) Rhoads. They were married on Jan. 22, 1954, and celebrated 60 years of marriage this past January.
He retired from Kaiser Mead after 32 years as a machinist.
During his high school years he discovered his love of car racing. He built his first race car in 1954 and continued racing Super Modified cars until 1993.
Being a very talented mechanic, Les took pride in building his own engines and keeping the race car competitive. Lester May became a well-respected name among the racing community and was voted "Most Popular Driver" three times. Taking the checkered flag first many times provided great entertainment to his family and many fans.
During his racing days, he traveled to many racetracks in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Montana and Western Canada. Lester was voted in as president of the GIESCRA for one year and was president of CAMRA for three years.
After he hung up his racing helmet, he then volunteered for Spokane County Fire District 4 for 12 years as a fire fighter and worked as a mechanic.
Fishing was another pastime that he was able to enjoy more frequently.
He is survived by his wife, Louise, and was a loving father to his five daughters and sons-in-law, Janet (Don) Williams, Sally (Eric) Ostby, Diane (George) Langill, Cheryl (Marc) Thornton, and Lori (Rob) vanAnrooy. He also left behind 12 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
As the youngest, he is preceded in death by his mother, father, one brother and five sisters.
Celebration of life will be held at the Chattaroy Community Church on July 12, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Hospice of Spokane.
Lauer Funeral Home, Deer Park, is in charge of arrangements.