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Capt. Robert C. May

Retired U.S. Navy Captain Robert Carroll May of Irvington died March 13.

He was the son of the late Julius J. and Helen F. (Carroll) May of Norwell, Mass.

He was preceded in death by a son, Michael S. May.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 57 years, M. Joan May; a daughter, Ellen Lisa May; a son, Robert C. May Jr.; and three grandchildren, Robert C. May III, Stephen B. May and Emily A. May.

Upon graduating from Boston University, he entered the Navy’s flight training program. In 1958,

LTjg. May was designated as the first Anti-Submarine Warfare Tactical Coordinator in the Navy (NAOS-1). Air Group (RAG) was a new concept in Naval Aviation and Lt. May served as lead navigation instructor for both tactical and surveillance navigation for ground and flight training. Lt. May served as executive officer and commanding officer of the Naval facility on San Salvador Island, in the Bahamas.

Cmdr. May authored the JCS Master Plan for Navigation. This plan included a future space-based navigation system called Navstar Global Positioning System (NAVSTAR/GPS) and a Spread Spectrum, frequency-hopping system called the Joint Tactical Information System, or JTIDS for short. The JTIDS system was the forerunner of our current digital communications system that enables DVD and cell phone capabilities.

After retiring from the Navy, May co-founded Galaxy Scientific Co. continuing his work in digital communications until retirement to the Northern Neck. He was a member of Rotary, a volunteer at Historic Christ Church, on the board at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, and a member of Indian Creek Yacht and County Club where he served on the board and as president. 

Services will be held Wednesday, March 20, at Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Church with a private burial.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to be sent to Historic Christ Church Foundation, P. O. Box 24, Irvington, VA 22480.

Currie Funeral Home LLC of Kilmarnock handled the arrangements.

posted 03.15.2013

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