Pickens is home now

Joyce Ann May was born and raised in New Haven, Conn. She graduated from Colchester High School and attended Manchester Community College, where she took classes in secretarial science. She also took courses at Hartford Computer Institute and earned a diploma in computer operations. A few years later, she went to Middlesex Community College in Middletown, Conn., and received a certificate in real estate.

Joyce and her first husband were married in 1958. They have four children and three grandchildren. While raising her children, Joyce worked at several different places, doing various jobs. Two of her favorite places of employment were Pratt Whitney Clerical, where she worked as a secretary in the engineering department and New Britain National Bank. She worked as a secretary assistant there.

JoyceAfter Joyce’s children were grown, she moved to the small town of Lempster, N.H., with a population of only 800. While in Lempster, she lived in a log cabin. She was very active, working hard at raising sheep.

Carol Baker/Courier
After Joyce May and her husband made a trip to Pickens during a vacation at Lake Hartwell, the two liked the town so much they bought a house. They have lived in Pickens for 12 years now.

Her father had health issues, so Joyce moved back to Connecticut to take care of him. After his death she moved to Zephyrhills, Fla. She and her second husband, William May, a retired air force chief with 30 years of service, decided to take a trip in their camper up to South Carolina. While they were camping at Lake Hartwell, Joyce told her husband that she would like to ride up to look around the town of Pickens that she had heard the people at the campgrounds talking about.

Both Joyce and William were impressed with the people and the town. They liked it so much, they bought a house and have lived in Pickens for 12 years.

One of Joyce’s favorite things to do is read. After settling down in Pickens, the first place she visited was the library. While there, she learned about a group who met there once a month to knit and crochet.

Joyce joined the group, and it was at the library that she learned about the historic Hagood Mill.

She volunteered her time and talents and worked there for 11 years, talking to the people who visited the mill about sheep shearing and the process of how wool is turned into yarn, and how to weave.

Joyce said she enjoys being outside working in her vegetable garden. This year she planted and has grown peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, green beans, butternut squash and cucumbers. She said that whenever she is outside in the garden, her two dogs, Auggie, a collie, and Fritz, a mini dachsund, are always with her.

Joyce has a very pleasing personality. She has made many friends in Pickens. On the first and third Monday each month, she meets with the writers group at the Pickens Library. She likes to write short stories and poetry. One of her poems has been published. She also likes to weave and knit.

Although she has lived in several states, she said Pickens is the place she likes best.

Easley resident Carol Baker highlights interesting local residents and helps us get to know more about the fascinating people who call Pickens County home. If you have someone somewhere who you think people should know about, contact us at