Manager of long-standing Dunmow department store has died

PUBLISHED: 10:18 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:00 18 June 2019

Nigel May with his father Douglas May,  standing in May & Brett during renovation work at the shop in April 2018. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Nigel May with his father Douglas May, standing in May & Brett during renovation work at the shop in April 2018. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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Tributes have been paid to the manager of a long-established Dunmow business, who died on May 28.

The funeral for Nigel May will be held on June 28. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDThe funeral for Nigel May will be held on June 28. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Nigel May, a business director at department store May & Brett, was 63. His funeral is due to take place on June 28.

Traders and town residents are welcome to gather outside May & Brett or in High Street on June 28 at around 1.45pm, when the funeral cortege will pause outside the shop.

Born at Colchester maternity unit on June 24, 1955, to Douglas and Beryl May, Nigel was educated in Dunmow, finishing his school years at Helena Romanes School.

At 15-years-old, Nigel started working at the business on Saturdays, before joining full-time when he was 16 and later undertaking a business studies course at Chelmsford College.

May & Brett was formed in 1935 by Basil May and Hubert Brett, with Douglas May, Nigel's father, joining in 1950.

For 49 years, Nigel worked at the family business, serving as shop floor manager, company secretary and a business director.

Whilst dedicated to the shop, he also enjoyed gardening, kept chickens at his home which he shared with his wife Ann and was a qualified scuba diver. He was also passionate about music, particularly jazz, and loved to spend time with his family.

Julian May, Nigel's brother, who worked alongside his brother for decades, said: "I've worked with my brother Nigel for 40 years. In that time we shared a very close friendship and work relationship which has kept us both going strong at the shop all this time. The shop was Nigel's life, as it has been for all my family who have worked here. Losing Nigel has been a massive loss and I'll miss him terribly, both as a dear brother and a colleague.

"The Dunmow town traders and townsfolk have been so supportive to me, my family and my staff, and all the kind comments, cards and flowers we have received at the shop has been overwhelming and also a comfort to us all. It's great to know he was so well liked by so many people."

Nigel is survived by his wife and son, Patrick.

The funeral service will be held at St Mary's Church, Dunmow, at 2pm where all who knew Nigel are welcome. This will be followed by a private burial for immediate family only.

The family have suggested sending a donation to the Woodland Trust and the British Heart Foundation, instead of bringing flowers, as a natural burial has been planned.

There is also a collection box for both charities in May & Brett with the donations to be split equally.

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