Robert H. LeMay

Monday, May 14, 2012

Robert Harold LeMay, died Saturday, May 5, 2012 at his home in Ocean City, Md.

He was a resident of Ocean City since 2000 and a property owner since 1998. Prior to that, he and his wife lived 16 years in Dyersville, and 11 years in Bethlehem, Pa. Earlier in their married life, they lived in Isanti, Minn.; Galesburg and Decatur, Ill.; Lutherville, Md.

Mr. LeMay was born and grew up in Storm Lake, where he attended St. Mary's High School and was active in drama, debate, original oratory, alter server for eight years, choir, basketball, baseball and was student body president 1954-55. He enrolled at Iowa State University, Ames, and took part in the theater. As a journalism major, he became involved with the Iowa State Daily, the university's student-run daily newspaper, finally becoming editor-in-chief.

Earning a BS degree in February 1961, he also was commissioned a second lieutenant and was assigned to the US Army Air Defense Command. After officer's basic course at Ft. Bliss, TX, he was assigned asw launching platoon leader and became a battery control officer at the missile base of D Battery, 3rd Missile Battalion, 68th Artillery Regiment in central Minnesota.

On July 1, May Ann Fabian and he, married in St. James Catholic Church in Arlington Heights Ill., her hometown. She too is a graduate of Iowa State with a BS degree.

They had two sons, David, born October 1963 and Daniel, born May 1966.

After his stint in the Army, Mr. LeMay worked first as a writer, then city editor and managing editor at the Galesburg (IL) Register-Mail then managing editor of the Decatur (IL) Herald/Herald Review.

In November 1968, he joined Bethlehem Steel in press relations and was assigned to the Baltimore-Sparrows Point operations. The company moved him to the home office in Bethlehem, Pa. in March 1973, where he worked in media relations and corporate communications until resigning in early 1984.

Mr. LeMay fulfilled a lifelong dream then, and bought the Dyersville (IA) Commercial, a weekly newspaper. With his wife, they ultimately owned two other weekly newspapers in Cascade and Marion, half interest in the newspapers of Guttenburg andMcGregor plus a central printing plant- all in Iowa. They also owned for a few years, the Monthly magazine, "Juilien's Journal" in Dubuque.

After retiring in 2000, the couple moved to Ocean City. As a member of St. Luke Catholic Church, he soon became a lector and ultimately, trainer of new lectors, minister of the sick and with his wife, co-coordinator of the ministry, member of parish council, and it's executive officer for two years.

He served as secretary of the Caine Woods Communion Association for five years, but resigned because of major surgery on his right shoulder. The pancreatic tumor was discovered in June 2011, and diagnosed as cancerous on Aug. 13.

The couple and family spent September on a river cruise from Budapest, Hungary, along the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers, ending in Kinderdik, The Netherlands. At the start of the journey they spent several days in Prague, the Czech Republic. This was in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. Upon return, Mr. LeMay underwent radiation and chemo therapy in October-November at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and surgery there on Jan. 9 of this year. The planned surgery could not be completed because the cancer had spread. He opted out of it and went into hospice care. His survivors are wife May Ann, son Dan (Rene) and their two daughters, Susan, widow of son David, who died of cancer on Nov. 27 2005, a sister, Dianne Leander (Branth) of Hill City, Minn., and their son and daughter, carol (Bill Dec) Harper of Vernal, UT and their eight progeny in six states, and the Rich Phillips family of Ocean City.

He was preceded in death by the elder son David and his parents, Leo and Helen.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, May 10, at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Ocean City, Md. at 11 a.m. Friends may call one hour prior to the service. Rev. Richard Smith will preside, with Revs. Joseph Kennedy and John Gorman concelebrating. Interment of his cremains will occur in St. Mary's Cemetery, Storm Lake. Deacon Mark Prosser will officiate.

Arrangements are in the care of the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin, Md.