May Slawson

Obituary of May Louise Slawson

CHARLESTON, SC - May Louise Slawson passed
away peacefully at the Kempton Senior Living
Center, Charleston, SC, on December 9th. She was
88 years old. She is preceded in death by Thomas
Stanley Slawson, her husband of 61 years, and a
half-sister, Karen Johnson Young of Newtownards,
Northern Ireland, whom she first met at age 70.
She is survived by her three children, Michael R.
Slawson (Paulette) of Atlanta, GA, Sally Slawson
Lynch (Todd) of Seabrook Island, SC, and Scott
A. Slawson (Pam) of Hilton Head Island; seven
grandchildren, Kevin Lynch (Rachel), Alexander
Slawson, Kyle Lynch, Caroline Slawson, Sarah Slawson Clark (Mat), Emily
Slawson, and Helen Slawson; and one great-grandchild, Ansleigh May
May was born in Detroit, MI to Thomas Wilson Reid and Helen Lumley
Reid on August 8th, 1935. She attended Detroit’s Cooley High School,
excelling in history, literature, and music. She participated in softball and
other youth activities at Grace Presbyterian Church, where she met her
future husband, Tom Slawson. May went on to earn Bachelor’s and Master’s
degrees in Education from Wayne State University. She first pursued her
dream to be a teacher in the Detroit Public School system before she and
Tom started a family. In 1974, the family moved to Farragut, TN, where she
resumed her teaching career at Farragut Intermediate School, teaching
4th and 5th grades and retiring in 1995. She and Tom lived in Farragut
for 25 years before moving to Tellico Village in Loudon, TN, then to Hilton
Head Island, SC in 2015. After Tom’s passing from Parkinson’s in 2018,
May moved to an assisted living and memory care facility in Charleston
so her daughter Sally could oversee her care.
May was a charter member of Farragut Presbyterian Church, where
she served on the church Session, sang in the choir, and led numerous
Sunday school classes. While living in Tellico Village, she co-founded,
sang, and played guitar in a band called the Tellico Players. She was
deeply involved in the Ulster Project, an organization devoted to build-
ing friendships between the Catholic and Protestant teens of Northern
Ireland, and hosted Irish youth and advisors on several occasions. In her
free time, May enjoyed playing bridge, tennis, and golf with family and
friends, and had a hole-in-one to her credit.
Her family and friends will love and remember her always, especially
for her strong devotion to her family, her dedication to her church, her
love of all things Irish, her organizational skills, and the way she changed
young lives for the better through her teaching and example.
A graveside service will be held at Edgewood Cemetery, Knoxville, TN
in April. Contributions in May’s memory can be made to the Michael J.
Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research ( or Farragut
Presbyterian Church (

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