August 23, 2013 - 1:28 PM
VERNON - The man killed at an extended care home last Sunday is described by his family as ambitious, hardworking and fun to be around.
William (Bill) May, 85, died on scene at the Polson Special Care Unit for patients with dementia after being assaulted by his 95-year-old roommate, John Furman, who now stands accused of second degree murder and is undergoing a psychiatric assessment to see if he can be held criminally responsible.
May's name was made public yeserday in a police media release because his family wanted people to "know who it was instead of him always being referred to as the victim."
An obituary for May says he was born in Stratford, Ontario and was the youngest of four siblings. He was predeceased by "the love of his life" Bonnie May six years ago.
"He often talked with fondness of the days he spent hunting and fishing with his father in the rural fields around Stratford," the obituary says.
May did an apprenticeship as a draftsman at the CNR shop in Stratford under the shadow of his father.
"Bill was an ambitious man who always worked hard to improve his position and to provide well for his family."
The year 1969 moved May's family to Vernon so he could head the construction and operation of the Consumers Glass Plant in Lavington. Years after he retired, former employees remember him as a "fair and honest man."
May loved fishing, golfing, playing darts with his sons, and travelling with his wife. Family write that he "passed on his great sense of humour to all his sons."
May is survived by three sons and two grandchildren.
Interior Health is conducting an internal review into the incident to see if anything could have been done to prevent it. Spokesperson Kirstine Hill says the men had only been roommates for three days, but that Furman had been assessed and not found aggressive or dangerous in any way.
"Certainly we would watch for any sort of indication and if a patient started to exhibit signs of aggression they would be moved," Hill says, noting staff are well trained to watch for signs. "But the nature of dementia can be unpredictable."
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013