Leland Chandler May
Leland Chandler May, 84, of Cassville, Mo., passed away on July 12, 2018. He was born in Purdy, Mo., on June 11, 1934, the youngest of four children of Robert Powell and Goldie B. May. On August 7, 1957, he was united in marriage with Linda L. Duncan, who preceded him in death.
Leland spent his earliest years in the small town of Purdy and graduated from the local high school in 1952. He entered college and graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University, 1957, with a degree in English and Spanish. In 1962, he received a Master’s Degree in English education from the University of Missouri, and in 1969; he finished his education with a Doctorate in English education from Oklahoma State University.
He spent the years after receiving his college degrees teaching and preaching in southwest Missouri at places such as King’s Prairie (a one-room school), Washburn High School and Southwest Baptist College. In 1969, he became an English professor at Northwest Missouri State University and remained there thirty years until his retirement as Emeritus faculty in 1999.
Leland also preached throughout the state of Missouri. He pastored the churches of Butterfield Baptist Church, New Site Baptist Church, Allendale Baptist Church, First Baptist of Albany, and Arnhart Baptist Church in Purdy. He also served as interim pastor in numerous churches. He was also an associate minister at First Baptist Cassville. His service also included being a past board member on the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home and the Word & Way journal.
Besides teaching and preaching, Leland was also a writer. He wrote numerous articles for popular and religious magazines. He also wrote books, a devotional for college students, Good Morning Lord, and his academic work, Parodies of the Gothic Novel. He had recently completed his memoirs, World War II Through My Eyes as a Child. He was president of the Missouri Writer’s Guide in the 1970s and ’80s.
Leland was also an entrepreneur opening in October 1999, with his wife Linda, the “L & L Bookshop Antique Mall” in Maryville, Mo. In 2004, it was awarded one of the best-used bookstores in the four-state area; It combined his love of books with his love of conversation with folks.
In the past, Leland enjoyed playing tennis and teaching his children tennis. In 1979, he was one of the top tennis players in the 45-54-age bracket in Missouri. He played in numerous tournaments traveling throughout the Midwest.
Travel was one of the great enjoyments of Leland and Linda’s life. They traveled with friends and family all over the United States and the world from Abilene, Kan., to Lhsas, Tibet. Traveling was always a time to experience something new and to enjoy the company of others.
Leland’s spirit of encouragement, optimism, humor, and generosity will be missed but always remembered by those he encountered.
Survivors include: three children and five grandchildren: David May and wife Pam of Atchison, Kan.; Jonathan May of Cassville and his three children, Aaron, Austin, and Ashley and her husband Adrian of Des Moines, Iowa; and Jennifer Crosby and her husband Mark and their two children Coleman and Duncan of Kansas City. He is also survived by one brother-in-law, Carl Max Duncan and his wife, Norma of Cassville.
Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 17, in Purdy at Arnhart Baptist Church under the direction of Fohn Funeral Home, Cassville. Rev. Jason Mackey and Dr. David May conducted the services. Burial was at the Purdy Cemetery, Purdy, Mo.
Contributions may be made to the journal Word & Way in memory of Leland.
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FOHN FUNERAL HOME