Posted On May 18th, 2011 -


Michael “Turtle” S. May, 77, Kahiapo o ko makou ‘ohana pono’i, passed peacefully at his home in Waianae. Michael was born in Kalihi and in his early youth moved to Mai’li to be with his Tutu, Antoinette Spencer. Mike’s Tutu lived near the ocean and he soon became a lover of the sea.

Mike was an expert fisherman and learned to make his own fishing nets and traps. In Wai’anae Mike learned to build boats and at the age of 14 operated his own fish boat on the leeward coast. A skin diver, Mike was given the nickname “Turtle” because he was able to hold his breath and dive as deep as a turtle.

Turtle was one of the founding fathers of the old Mai’li Sons Canoe Club.

Following a short hitch in the U.S. Army, Turtle worked for 26 years on Kwajalein Atoll for the Department of Defense where he operated the company boat. Mike returned and retired to Wai’anae, the place that he loved.

Mike was a quiet, generous and unassuming man. He will be missed by many. He is survived by daughters Michelle Fernandez, Debra Lipai and Linda Lipai; son Michael May; sisters Carol Laua’e Palencia (Phillip) and Norma D. Manoa (William); brothers Solomon Kupihea and Victor M. Parina (Lillian).

Visitation: 10 am Saturday, May 21, 2011 at Oahu Cemetery.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran