An older gentleman walked into Corner Cafe, slightly bent over and stately looking. I had seen him before, at Hauser athletic events and around town.

One time, he was standing at a Mason booth and asked if I might have an interest. We knew one another by name, but I really did not know that much about him. Since we were both eating alone, I asked if I might join him. He did not have a problem with it whatsoever. I didn't share that in some ways he reminded me of my dad who had died just before I retired from teaching in 2010, that it was one reason why I wanted to visit.

As he talked, I was impressed with how active he was even with fighting health issues throughout his life. After an appendix attack and subsequent operation when younger, the doctor did not give the family much hope, but his fighting spirit prevailed. It was obvious he was good with numbers but even more obvious he was good with people. In fact, he just could not fully get away from his accounting profession that he sold in 1986 with a primary reason being the relationship he had built with his clients, some which he had faithfully and fairly served for many years.

He was a proud graduate of Hope High School and apparently did quite well receiving scholarship offers at Purdue University and Franklin College. I was intrigued by his story about thinking he would attend college until being informed that he would need to take English courses with his math courses if wishing to secure a degree in accounting. He politely declined the scholarships and joined an accounting firm in 1945, the same year he graduated from high school. He learned a lot while there and apparently made quite the impression as he was soon operating offices for the firm in two different cities. A few years later, he opened a practice with another gentleman and eventually started his own firm with his wife's help in 1965. As I was listening to him share this story, I was impressed with how determined he was to pursue his dream of applying his math skills and also thought about our system of education. I can't recall all of our conversation that day; I do remember thinking I had a new friend.

Later, when I was on a committee hoping to continue a newspaper after the death of Larry Simpson, he gave me a call wanting to meet at Corner Cafe to discuss HSJ Online. He felt it was essential to maintain a local news source even though he preferred a physical copy in his hands. Of course, he wanted to look at our numbers and review our proposed budget. He brought his two daughters with him. I had seen them with him before and could tell of their love and mutual respect for one another. Before long, I had a check to help in matching a very generous gift from Tim Andrews.

I can recall another meeting of importance that we had at Corner Cafe. He had an older friend, John Cox, who was requesting guidance of where his significant amount of money should go upon death. It was suggested the Hawcreek-Flat Rock Area Endowment Fund as well as the Hauser Dollars for Scholars would be excellent organizations. Now that Mr. Cox had died and things were in place, he wanted to make sure it would be acknowledged properly and asked if I might discuss it with the school corporation. A special plaque can be found at Hauser as well as at Corner Cafe. It is one of the few scholarships available for our students already in college.

My friend started having more regular health issues. While visiting a former colleague at a nursing home facility, he had just checked in with the help of his daughters. I talked with him for a short time while he, as usual, expressed concern for others in the facility. He soon returned to his longtime home in Hope. However, he then developed pneumonia before falling and breaking his hip on Heritage Days. The surgery was successful, but the pneumonia overtook him at the age of ninety-one. I could kick myself for not recently making it a priority to visit him. At the same time, I sure am glad I took time out in the Corner Cafe to get to know him.

Robert Arthur May's name will live on long after his death. His daughters, Pam and Pat, did an excellent job coordinating the well-attended Celebration of Life. Speaker after speaker (Garry Christy, Stephen Haworth, Robert Lewis, Tom Miller, Evelyn Blackburn, Edward Thifault, Megan Brummett, & Myself) shared how Bob was a mentor, a servant, and a giver. You can find some of his accomplishments within his obituary but certainly not all. It would be impossible! For example, I did not know that Bob received a letter about various positions in the Federal Bureau of Investigation signed by J. E. Hoover, Director, dated December 29th, 1944. And, I was unaware that Bob likely saved the life of a very young boy who was in the median of a highway in a story reported by the Bedford newspaper in May 1974. Larry Wheeler of The Hope Masonic Lodge finalized the service honoring their fallen Mason. Bob was a former Worshipful Master which speaks volumes.

Bob felt that there was no better place to live than in Hope. We were all very fortunate to have his family move from Indianapolis to Hope in 1932 so that they could help on the family farm during the Great Depression. Bob, like so many before him, helped to make Hope a better place!

Finally, I will never forget the rendition of Psalm 23 at his final resting place, Garland Brook Mausoleum, by one of Bob's many friends, Edward Thifault. I have heard it many times over the years but never in such a soft and heartfelt way. It was quite fitting!