Oldest American, sports loving woman, dies at 114

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 8, 2010 8:22 am

(Reuters) – Mary Josephine Ray, a sports-loving card-player who was the oldest person living in the United States, died on Sunday at the age of 114.

Ray, who was born before Henry Ford built his first car or Marconi patented the radio, died at Maplewood Nursing Home in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, where she had lived since the age of 101, Steven Wilson, the home’s activity director, said.

Born on May 17, 1895 in Canada, Ray was the world’s second-oldest person according to the Gerontology Research Group, which maintains a registry of the oldest people. It says Kama Chinen of Japan was born seven days before Ray.

According to the group’s website, the oldest American is now Neva Morris of Iowa, born August 3, 1895.

Ray was a big sports fan — particularly of the Boston Red Sox baseball team — and liked to play cards, particularly rummy, which she played at least twice a week, Wilson said.

“Mary would always win, one way or another,” Wilson said.

She outlived her husband, Walter Ray, by more than 40 years and is survived by two sons, eight grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

Being a sports lover, there’s no doubt Mary was a winter sport enthusiast. She lived much of her life in New Hampshire, and considering the longevity of that life, she probably had a chance to visit all the ski areas there. We’re talking:   
    * Attitash Ski Resort (Bartlett, NH)
    * Bretton Woods Ski Resort (Bretton Woods, NH)
    * Cannon Mountain Ski Resort (Franconia , NH )
    * Cranmore Mountain Ski Resort (North Conway, NH)
    * Dartmouth Skiway (Lyme Center, NH)
    * Loon Mountain (Lincoln , NH)
    * Ragged Mountain (Danbury, NH)
    * Tenney Mountain (Plymouth, NH)
    * Waterville Valley (Waterville Valley, NH)

(You can see more of these ski areas and nearly all other North American ones by visiting our Resort Rater.)

Our condolences to the family of Mary Josephine Ray. She lived a long, healthy life!