Ira Philip May


Ira Philip May, a senior geologist at the Maryland Department of the Environment and resident of Towson, Md., passed unexpectedly on Jan. 16. Ira is survived by his wife of 33 years, Yvette Cumerma May, and his son Stephen May and daughter-in-law Lina Reyes. He is predeceased by his brother Kenneth, his mother Evelyn, and his father Leopold.

Ira was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on March 26, 1954, grew up in Silver Spring, Md., and graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 1976 with a B.S. in Geology and from the University of Delaware in 1978 with a M.S. in Geology.

On May 27, 1990, he married Yvette, a librarian, and welcomed his beloved son Stephen on May 3, 1991. Ira was a devoted father who loved nature, reading the newspaper, observing outcroppings on the side of the road, politics, sports and foreign films. He was passionate about environmental causes and volunteered his time to clean up ground water contamination in Ukraine and the Philippines, as well as to serve proudly on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Preservation of Nature in Israel.

He was an active and integral member of the Beit Tikvah Congregation in Baltimore. He will be remembered for his kindness and generosity and will be deeply missed by his friends, family and all those who knew him.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Ira’s memory to either Pure Earth (, Dig Deep (, or the Society for the Preservation of Nature in Israel (

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