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Two of oldest people in the U.S. die on the same day

March 9, 2010 |  2:18 pm


Two of the oldest people in the world have died on the same day.

Mary Josephine Ray, who was certified as the oldest person living in the United States, died Sunday at 114 years, 294 days. She died at a nursing home in Westmoreland, N.H., but was active until about two weeks before her death, her granddaughter Katherine Ray said.

"She just enjoyed life. She never thought of dying at all," Katherine Ray said. "She was planning for her birthday party."

Ray died just hours before Daisey Bailey, who was 113 years, 342 days, said L. Stephen Coles, a director of the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks and studies old people and certifies those 110 or older, called supercentenarians.

"It’s very rare that two of our supercentenarians die on the same day," Coles said.

Bailey, who was born March 30, 1896, died in Detroit, he said.

She had suffered from dementia, said her family, who claimed she was born in 1895.

Ray, who was born May 17, 1895, in Bloomfield, Prince Edward Island, Canada, and moved to the United States as a toddler, was the oldest person in the United States and the second-oldest in the world, the Gerontology Research Group said.

The oldest living American is now Neva Morris, of Ames, Iowa, at 114 years, 216 days. The oldest person in the world is Japan’s Kama Chinen at age 114 years, 301 days.

-- Associated Press


Upper photo: Mary Josephine Ray in 2006. Credit: Associated Press

Lower photo: Daisey Bailey in 2008. Credit: Associated Press