Gerontology Wiki
Ray Chavez
Ray Chavez
Ray Chavez at the age of 104
Birth: 10 March 1912
San Bernardino, California, USA
Death: 21 November 2018
Poway, California, USA
Age: 106 years, 256 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Raymond "Ray" Barron Chavez (10 March 1912 – 21 November 2018) was an American centenarian who was the oldest living Pearl Harbor survivor at time of his death.


Ray Chavez was born in San Bernardino, California, USA on 10 March 1912, the son of Mexican immigrants.

He married Margaret Specht in 1935 and had one daughter Margaret Gibson (born 1937).

At 27, in 1938, he joined the Navy and was stationed with the minesweeper Condor at Pearl Harbor. On 7 December 1941, he was a seaman first class, after the attack, he spent the next nine days on continuous duty in and around Pearl Harbor.

In 1956, his daughter Margaret Gibson, his son-in-law William Howard Gibson and his 18-month-old granddaughter Mary Kathleen Gibson were killed in a car accident. In 1957, he adopted one daughter Kathleen Chavez, who lived in a San Diego orphanage. He got widowed in 1989.

He spent 30 years as a groundskeeper at the University of California, San Diego, and then ran his own landscaping and grounds keeping business in the Poway area until he retired at the age of 96.

In 2016, he participated in a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. In May 2018, he met President Donald Trump during a Memorial Day celebration at the White House.

Ray Chavez died in Poway, California, USA on 21 November 2018 at the age of 106 years, 256 days. He was survived by his adopted daughter Kathleen Chavez.