When she saw the fire engine, Audrey May knew something special was about to happen.

A Peters Township Fire Department truck led a lengthy parade of vehicles along Brookwood Road, many of them decorated to convey the message, “Happy 90th birthday!”

May waved appreciatively as family members and friends passed by, giving her the opportunity to greet numerous people she otherwise probably would not have seen because of limitations caused by COVID-19.

The Aug. 16 drive-by celebration was hosted by May’s granddaughter Jamie Schweinberg and her husband, John, as a way to honor a person who “has spent her entire life caring for others,” according to Jamie.

The youngest of six children, May was born on a farm in Mt. Lebanon and graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School in 1948. The following year, she married Jim May, and they moved to Peters Township to live in a home Jim built with his brothers.

While raising their three sons, May worked as the manager of the Peters Township High School cafeteria. She also raised a granddaughter and helped care for great-nieces and –nephews, along with many children in her neighborhood.

When her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, May provided care “in the most patient, loving way,” Jamie said, until his death in 2006.

And she continues to care for her great-children, in addition to senior citizens outside of the home.

May has been an active member of Peters Creek Evangelical Church for nearly 70 years, serving by teaching Sunday School and as an active member of Eastern Star.

All of that would seem to confirm what she calls her secret to longevity: hard work.

With time out to celebrate her birthday, of course.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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