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Former Independent associate publisher dies
Port Orchard Independent staff, Sound Publishing employees and the South Kitsap business community were shocked to hear about the death of former Port Orchard Independent associate publisher Lorraine May.
May, 61, died Aug. 31 at her home in Bremerton, according to Sound Publishing Vice President Lori Maxim. May had been battling lung cancer and retired as associate publisher in June.
“Lorraine was a dear friend and an amazing person who touched the lives of many,” Maxim said. “She gave her time to friends, co-workers and the community. She was a lovely warm person who will be greatly missed.”
According to Maxim, May, worked in several different roles with Sound after she was hired in February 1998, including account representative, national sales, and director of sales training.
“She shaped the talents and careers of many sales representatives fortunate enough to train under her tutelage,” Maxim said. “She was respected in the business community and honored by her peers. I will miss her counsel and friendship very much.”
After joining Sound in 1998 as an account representative, she was promoted to director of sales training in June 2002.
She worked full time as the director until August 2007, then served on a part-time basis.
She became associate publisher of the Independent in November 2012.
May was an “inspiration to so many people that had the honor of knowing her and working with her,” according to Donna Etchey, advertising director of Sound's Kitsap newspapers.
“She loved being involved with the many communities where she lived and worked. Whatever Lorraine was involved in during that moment in her life became her passion and she gave 110 percent to the organization or cause. When she was not at work you could probably find her in her gardens or doing an art project.”
During one of May’s tenures with Sound Publishing, her job was to travel to all of the offices and train new marketing reps and most of the time work one on one with them.
“If you worked at Sound Publishing in the sales division, chances are that you knew Lorraine and learned from her experience and lessons that she had to give,” Etchey said.
Colleagues remember May
Mike Schiro, an account representative with the Independent for 16 years, remembered May as a “great person and fun to work with.” He retired in December 2012.
“She was a great friend and colleague to me, and I always enjoyed working with her,” Schiro said. “She always had a smile on her face.”
Schiro said he remembers May and Maxim when the pair conducted sales training at the Bainbridge Island office, before Sound moved the corporate headquarters to Poulsbo and then Everett.
“During those trainings, Lorraine would make the training fun and lively, and a great learning experience,” Schiro said. “They would incorporate games with the sales training.”
Schiro said May was “well-liked and respected by the South Kitsap business community.”
“I went to a lot of meetings with her and she worked well with Port Orchard Chamber, Port Orchard Bay Street Association and Fathoms o’ Fun,” Schiro said. “They really liked her. She really got out into the community.”
He said May made the Christmas holiday seasons fun as well.
“We brought in the tree and decorated the office,” Schiro said. “She would bring in cookies and chocolate candy, and presents for everybody. She was a very kind person.”
Rich Peterson, who was publisher at the Independent for 16 years and retired in February 2012, remembers May as a great friend.
“When I heard about her passing, it left an empty hole inside of me,” he said. “She has been a great friend for a lot of years. We worked on things together and helped one another.”
He said May also trained some of his account representatives.
Peterson, who is president of the United Way of Kitsap Board of Directors, said he enjoyed having May as a United Way director.
He remembers the day during a board meeting that May told him she had cancer.
“It kind of set me back,” Peterson said. “You don’t like to hear about anyone getting cancer, let alone people you know.”
David L. Foote, executive director of United Way of Kitsap County, said May had been on the board of directors for two years and was a “great board member.”
“She was eager to volunteer to help, whether for Day of Caring, the golf tournament, she wanted to help,” Foote said.
He said May suggested — and the board agreed — to do a bowling event in October and she was running with that.
“She had already contacted the Hi-Joy Bowl in Port Orchard and was looking at bowling leagues to talk to about participation,” Foote noted.
The Independent staff learned about May’s passing Sept. 2.
“Lorraine was a great colleague — and an even a better person,” said Chris Chancellor, Independent senior reporter. “She will be missed.”
Business community saddened
Word of May’s death spread throughout the Port Orchard and South Kitsap business community.
Amy Igloi Creed, owner of Amy’s on the Bay, said she was sad to hear about May’s death.
“She was such a terrific lady and a pleasure to do business with,” Creed said. “I loved her strong spirit and great sense of humor, even in the more difficult stages of battling the cancer.”
Don Ryan, president of the Port Orchard Bay Street Association, said May served on the group’s board and was treasurer.
“Everyone loved Lorraine and her ‘I can do it’ attitude,” said Ryan. “We will miss her very much. POBSA has lost a great friend.”
Along with being involved with United Way and POBSA, May served as president of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce.
Etchey said May loved traveling with her partner, Mark Gillespie, and had traveled on most of Route 66. They had planned to travel to Chicago this fall where they would drive the only section of Route 66 they had not yet traveled.
“Anyone who know Lorraine loved her sense of humor and love for life. She always looked at the positive,” Etchey said.
May, who was born in Trona, Calif., on Dec. 21, 1952 and graduated from North Salem High School in Salem, Ore., in 1971.
She was an avid gardener and talented artist.
The funeral is planned for Sept. 6 in Salem, Oregon. Viewing is scheduled from 9-10 a.m. at Virgil Golden Funeral Home, 605 Commercial St. SE, followed by an 11 a.m. service at Englewood Methodist Church, 1110 17th St. Burial is set for 1:45 p.m. at City View Cemetery, 390 Hoyt St.
A memorial service will be planned in the Kitsap area at a later date.