Robert R. May

May 15, 1940 ~ January 20, 2021 (age 80)


Robert R. May, age 80, of Montage, MA died on Wednesday January 20, 2021 at Northampton's Coley Dickinson Hospital surrounded by his wife and daughter.
Born on May 15, 1940, in Montclair, NJ, he was the son of the late Rollo May and Florence Defrees. He was raised in New York City. He attended Westtown School and Wesleyan University. Robert was a Woodrow Wilson fellow and received a PH.D. in clinical psychology Stockbridge MA.
After serving as a psychotherapist at Williams College, Robert became the director of Counseling and Mental Health Services at Amherst College, a role he held for 35 years before his retirement in 2006. From 1976-77 he was a staff member at Tavistock Clinic in London, England. At Amherst College Robert established a training program for individuals interested in careers in college psychotherapy and counseling. He also maintained a small private clinical practice. A prolific writer, Robert produced two books and published more than three dozen articles in a variety of professional journals. HE made presentations at numerous professional meetings and also served on the editorial board of two counselling journals.
Robert had many passions. He loved attending the opera and chamber music concerts. His interest in fly fishing brought him and his wife to beautiful places in the world including New Zealand, Chile, Canada and many of the Western states. In recent years he took pleasure in joining his daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren on family trips. He and his wife restored a 200 year old house which led to Robert's interest in furniture making. Using his own designs, he built desks, tables, boxes, chests, and cabinets. He loved his backyard fruit orchard and grew old varieties of apples which he and his family tuned into delicious cider and pies.
Robert will be remembered as a principled person with a wry sense of humor who cared deeply about people, civil rights, and the environment. He knew the power of words to educate and to entertain, to harm and to heal.
Besides his beloved wife of 42 years, Karen Latka, Robert leaves his daughter, Abigail Khan and her husband, Nasser, and three granddaughters, Elisa, Caroline and Clara, all of Portland OR. He also leaves two sisters, Carolyn May of Belmont, MA and Allegra May of York, Maine; a half-sister, Leila May, two nephews and a niece.
A gathering of family and friends will take place later this summer.
Gifts in Robert's memory may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union 135 Broad St. New York, 10004 or the Environmental Defense League 275 Park Avenue South New York, New York 10010.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Kostanski Funeral Home. For condolences, please visit 

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