The Valley News has been selected to add two journalists — a photojournalist and a climate and environment reporter — to our newsroom through Report for America, a national service program that boosts local news by harnessing community support.

Please consider donating to this effort.

Alison McCallum

Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Hanover, N.H. — Alison McCallum May, age 85, died peacefully at home in Hanover, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, surrounded by family.

Born July 13, 1930, to James Dow McCallum, a professor of English at Dartmouth College, and Margaret Beck McCallum, Alison was raised in Hanover. She graduated from Vassar College in 1952, with a major in Economics.

In 1954, she married Donald H. May. While raising their four children, she was actively involved in community affairs in Alexandria, Va. She worked with the NAACP, the National Conference for Community and Justice, and the ACLU in their efforts to overcome the racial unrest of the 1960s. In subsequent years, she served on the Alexandria School Board and was a driving force in the desegregation of that school system. She was a successful stockbroker and financial planner before retiring with Don to Norwich, Vt. in 1994.

Alison remained loyal to Vassar and chaired several reunions.

In Norwich, she worked tirelessly as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Norwich Public Library, spearheading a major capital campaign for the library’s expansion. She served on the town’s Finance Committee, and the Norwich Selectboard, including several years as its chair. She was an active member of the Norwich Women’s Club. For many years, she enthusiastically maintained their town directory.

In 1996, Alison and Don co-founded the Salikenni Scholarship Fund, a non-profit organization that supports and mentors students in the rural village of Salikenni in The Gambia in West Africa. She was particularly proud of the program’s efforts to educate girls.

She was a role model to many for her volunteerism, leadership, and active community participation. She was admired for her dedication and determination to better the world around her.

Alison was a passionate gardener and enjoyed sharing this love with passersby, often adding a good story or some political advice along the way. Her gardens in Norwich, Prince Edward Island, and Alexandria were admired by many.

She is survived by her husband, Don, and the families of their four children: Anne and Henry Hart (Chestertown, Md.), Steve and Liza May (Bonita Springs, Fla.), Dave May and Katherine Kiluk (Hingham, Mass.), Libby May and Eoghan Mahony (Santa Monica, Calif.). She also leaves seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and her sister Anne McCallum von Maltzahn (Halifax, NS).

To view an online memorial and or send a message of condolence, please visit

A memorial service will be held at St. Barnabas Church, Norwich, Vt., on Feb. 22, 2016, at 11 a.m. Alison was buried in a private family service on Feb. 2 at Pine Knolls Cemetery in Hanover.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to The Salikenni Scholarship Fund ( or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Rand-Wilson Funeral Home of Hanover.

Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy