Image: Mary Josephine Ray
Steve Hooper  /  AP file
Mary Josephine Ray during her 111th birthday party in Westmoreland, N.H.
updated 3/9/2010 8:46:15 AM ET 2010-03-09T13:46:15

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 age 114 years, 294 days. Her granddaughter Katherine Ray said she died at a nursing home in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, but was active until about two weeks before her death.

"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. That's according to L. Stephen Coles, a director of the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks and studies old people and certifies those 110 or older, called supercentenarians.

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Bailey, who was born March 30, 1896, died in Detroit. Her family said she had suffered from dementia.

Even with her recent decline, Ray managed an interview with a reporter last week, her granddaughter said.

The Gerontology Research Group says that until her death, Ray was the oldest person in the United States and the second-oldest in the world. She was also recorded as the oldest person ever to live in New Hampshire.

The oldest living American is Neva Morris, of Ames, Iowa, at 114 years, 216 days.

The oldest person in the world is Japan's Kama Chinen. She is 114 years, 301 days.

Ray was born May 17, 1895 in Bloomfield, Prince Edward Island, Canada. She moved to the United States at age 3.

She lived for 60 years in Anson, Maine. She lived in Florida, Massachusetts and elsewhere in New Hampshire before she moved to Westmoreland in 2002 to be near her children.

Ray's husband, Walter, died in 1967. She is survived by two sons, eight grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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