Donald Alan May; Longtime Resident, Business Owner

17-obit-May, Donald AlanDonald Alan May, business owner and longtime resident of Pacific Palisades, passed away at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, on April 30, after a heroic five-month battle with cancer. He was 49 years old.

He spent his early years in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and moved to Santa Monica with his mother and sister when he was 11. Four years later the family moved to the Palisades, and Donald attended Palisades High School.

He went to Santa Monica College, where he studied journalism and broadcast journalism and wrote for the college newspaper.

Don was a talented writer, but his extraordinary voice brought him to radio where he became an on-air personality at KSRF, later MARS-FM in Santa Monica. He remained there for several years until the station was sold.

Don loved being a DJ, but also enjoyed audio production, so he opened his own studio, Signal Core Productions, in the Palisades in 1996, specializing in voiceover production. He also started Moonlight L.A., where he continued to DJ private events. For the next 20 years, he was a fun presence at parties, weddings and local venues such as the Oak Room on Swarthmore.

He enjoyed his work, traveling, skiing, kickboxing, his friends and family, but especially loved sailing, which he learned four years ago at the Del Rey Yacht Club, where he made many friends.

Don took to sailing like a duck to water and was a quick study. He was a welcome crew member and sailed up the coast to the Channel Islands and to Mexico. Don was also a regular on the racing circuit, sailing mostly 35- to 40-ft. boats. He was in the process of becoming certified for larger boats when he became ill.

Don was a valued crew member by all he sailed with, always eager, helpful, encouraging and tireless in his enthusiasm to learn and become a better sailor. His dream was to own his own boat and sail to remote islands in the Pacific, and he was well on his way to realizing that dream when his illness intervened.

He is survived by his mother Sheila May; sister Shannon May; grandmother Lilith Palo; aunt Norma Fliearman; uncles Jeff (Eda) and Eric Palo; cousins Mark Fliearman, Chad (Stacie), Ricky and Christina Palo and countless friends. He was preceded by his father, Greg May.

Don will be remembered for his kindness, gracious demeanor, his willingness to help others and most of all for his quick wit and good humor, which he retained until the very end, even during his illness.

A memorial service will be held at the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey on Saturday, May 21 at noon, with a light luncheon to follow. At Don’s request he will be cremated and his ashes rendered to the sea, where he will sail forever on the ocean he loved so much.

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