May received a B.A. in English. During her student years, May served as Secretary of the Mission Unit, Treasurer of the Children of Mary, captain of the basketball team, member of the track team, and staff member of "Quips and Cues." In 1949 she served on the staff of the Alumna.
May and her husband Robert had nine children. Six of their daughters are alumnae of the College: Mary Catherine (1952), Gertrude (1955), Patricia Ann (1957), Madeline (1958), Mary Frances (1963), and Mary Josephine (1965). In addition, two of May's brothers married College of Saint Elizabeth graduates: Anita Walsh (1918), and Marie J. O'Keefe (1920); the latter's daughter is also an alumna, Marie Henderson Magnier (1953). Moreover, two of May's sisters are fellow alumnae: the late Gertrude Henderson Mulcahy (1923), and Dolores Henderson Griffin (1934). Another of May's sisters was the late Sister Dorothea Henderson.
May received the Mother Xavier Award in 1963. "She was thus honored," Alumna reported, "because of her devotion and loyalty to CSE, her wonderful example of Catholic motherhood, and her strong belief in Catholic education."
In her acceptance remarks, May said, "In one of those rare moments of true self-evaluation, I realized that this award, this honor could not have been meant for me personally. Then, in that same moment of truth and perception, I realized that I was simply one of many of the daughters of Saint Elizabeth, and that, today, I would be simply the one representative for the many to whom this cherished honor might be given."
May died on September 9, 1981.