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Mary Josephine Ray
Born Mary Josephine Arsenault
May 17, 1895(1895-05-17)
Bloomfield, Prince Edward Island,
Canada
Died March 7, 2010
(aged &0000000000000114.000000114 years, &0000000000000294.000000294 days)
Westmoreland, New Hampshire,
United States
Known for Second-oldest verified living person from Sept 11 2009 until her death
Oldest person living in the United States from Sept 11 2009 until her death

Mary Josephine Ray (née Arsenault; May 17, 1895 – March 7, 2010)[1][2] was the world's second-oldest verified living person at the time of her death.[3] Following the death of Gertrude Baines on 11 September 2009, Ray became the oldest person living in the United States.

She was the oldest recorded person ever to live in New Hampshire, although the oldest person born in New Hampshire was Nellie Spencer (1869–1982), who lived to age 113 years 81 days. Ray was also the oldest person ever recorded born in Prince Edward Island and the third-oldest person ever born in Canada. Since the death of Maria de Jesus from Portugal, she was also the oldest person of European descent in the world. She also ranked as one of the 30 oldest verified supercentenarians in history.

Contents

History

Born in Bloomfield, Prince Edward Island, Canada to French Canadian (Acadian) parents, Sabin Arsenault and Lydie Anne Blanchard, Mary Josephine moved to the United States at age three. Her father died when she was 7 and her mother also died when she was 15. Mary went out on her own, working in factories in Maine. Later she married Walter Ray (in the 1920s; he died in 1967) and moved to New Hampshire. Later, Mary Jo retired to Florida at age 80. She lived there on her own until 100, when her family brought her back to New Hampshire. At age 102, she moved into a nursing home when the family felt they could no longer care for her at home. Her paternal grandmother, Agnès Arsenault, died at the age of 97 in 1909.

Family

Mary Josephine Arsenault married Walter Ray circa 1923. The 1930 census listing for Walter Ray lists him as age 36, married at 28; and Mary Josephine as age 34 (it was in April), married at 27. Ray had two sons, both living: Robert, 86, of Pensacola, Florida and Donald, 85, of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Her eight grandchildren are also still alive.[citation needed] In all, Ray has two sons, eight grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren.

Hobbies

Ray followed, as much as possible, the Red Sox baseball team. After watching baseball games, she often had cake and ice cream. At her 108th birthday celebration, she was greeted with the song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and a cake with the Red Sox symbol on it. Ray continued to buy Red Sox merchandise, and commented that she intended to continue doing so.[4] Fred Hale, who lived to be 113 years 354 days old, was also a fan of the team.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Mary Ray Dies at 114," by Casey Farrar, New Hampshire SentinelSource (March 8, 2010)
  2. ^ Associated Press obituary via Yahoo News (March 8, 2010)
  3. ^ "Validated Living Supercentenarians". Gerontology Research Group. 2008-10-15. http://www.grg.org/Adams/E.HTM. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  4. ^ David P. Greisman (2008-05-19). "World’s eighth-oldest person, longtime Red Sox fan celebrates birthday". Nashua Telegraph. http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080519/NEWS02/580400090/0/YOUTH. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  5. ^ Kirst, Sean (2004-10-25). Oldest Red Sox fan not betting on outcome. Mary was the oldest Boston Red Sox fan to ever live. The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY). Retrieved from http://www.redsoxconnection.com/fans/oldestfan2.html.
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