With heavy hearts, Basketball Manitoba is saddened to share the news on the passing of long time basketball coach and friend Laurie May of Winnipeg.  A "Celebration of Life" will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in Alumnae Hall, at St. Mary's Academy, 550 Wellington Crescent.  Laurie was heavily involved for decades in the sport as a coach at the high school and university levels.  He was also very involved with the Manitoba Basketball Coaches Association along side his wife Debbie and was a regular behind the microphone at numerous local TV broadcasts of high school basketball.  His legacy of being a mentor and champion to the sport will not be forgotten.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Debbie and the May family.


WILLIAM (LAURIE) MAY July 11, 1951 - November 23, 2013 On Saturday, November 23, 2013, at the Victoria General Hospital, surrounded by his beloved wife, family and friends, Laurie, at 62 years of age, lost his battle with Multiple Systems Atrophy. Athletics and education were pivotal to his character development, and ironically, in the end, the disease robbed him of both. 
As a student at Elmwood High School in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Laurie excelled in basketball, track and football. He was more than a "sports star". He was also a serious and hardworking student. His ability to read people and situations and his superior command of English, made him a natural leader - a quality his fellow classmates at Elmwood recognized when he was elected school president in his Grade 12 year. During this same time period, Laurie was also following his passion for hockey until a broken leg shattered his future in that sport. Sidelined for months with his injury, the athlete became focused on his studies and the student became the teacher. Laurie was a creative, witty, master educator, who had the innate ability to make even the dry and boring topics excite his classes. He taught for more than 30 years, initially at Tec Voc, but for most of his professional career he taught English at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate. It was at Daniel McIntyre that Laurie made his mark as an educator and a basketball coach. 
For Laurie academics were essential but "the other half" of education for his students was acquired on the basketball court. He believed that basketball was a metaphor for life and if you could excel on the court you could excel in life. Over the years, Laurie coached many successful teams and even won a few Provincial Championships. However, for Laurie, the biggest thrill came from watching the students he coached grow up and become "successful" people off the basketball court. Those successes were the real trophies. Laurie leaves to mourn his wife and soul-mate of 28 years, Deb; daughters, Leslie and Lisa May; mother, Betty Van der Aa; sister, Shelley Kubic, and brother, Corey Van der Aa. Also grieving his passing are his mother-in-law, Elsie Dudar; brother-in-law, Ray Dudar, and sister-in-law, Nancy Arason; many relatives and many special friends. 
A "Celebration of Life" will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in Alumnae Hall, at St. Mary's Academy, 550 Wellington Crescent. 
Thanks goes out to the Palliative Care Program, the Homecare Program and the team of nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists that helped Laurie through his illness. A special "thank you" to Dr. S. Sami for over-seeing his care. If you would like to honour Laurie's memory, flowers gratefully declined. Instead, please donate to a charity of your choice. Wojcik's Funeral Chapel & Crematorium, 2157 Portage Avenue, 204-897-4665, is in care of arrangements. wojciksfuneralchapel.com 
"A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove.....but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child" Anonymous
Subscribe to Email Newsletter
Share this article to...