Mary Palos
Mary Palos
Birth: 30 May 1914
Parras, Coahuila, Mexico
Death: 7 May 2020
Claremont, California, USA
Age: 105 years, 343 days
Country: MexicoMEXUnited StatesUSA

Mary Palos (née Molina; 30 May 1914 – 7 May 2020) was an Mexican-American centenarian who was one of the oldest victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Mary Palos was born in Parras, Coahuila, Mexico on 30 May 1914. Her parents were Benjamin Molina and Guadalupe Monsivaiz. Her father died of the flu in the 1918 pandemic. Shortly after the death of her father, she moved with her mother and seven older brothers to the United States, settling in Artesia with relatives. In 1921, when she was 7 years old, her family moved to Claremont and her mother remarried Jesus Aguilera.

Her mother died when she was 12, leaving Mary to assume her mother’s responsibilities and care for her stepfather and brothers, including babysitting, cooking and cleaning.

She attended school until the sixth grade. She married Bruno Ornelas Palos on 9 June 1935. The couple had three children: Robert, Roger and Corinne.

She worked as a cafeteria manager in the Claremont Unified School District for 40 years. Even after retiring, Palos never stopped giving back. For three years, she was a volunteer at the Economy Shop, a local thrift store. She joined Claremont Meals on Wheels, assisting with food delivery for the elderly for four years, and spent another 14 years at the Joslyn Senior Center in Alhambra.

She got widowed in 1999, after 64 years of marriage. At age 99, she had moved to the Santa Teresita Manor assisted living facility in Duarte.

Mary Palos died of complications from the disease caused by covid-19 in Claremont, California, USA on 7 May 2020 at the age of 105 years, 343 days. She was survived by her children Robert Palos, Roger Palos and Corinne Dearborn; five grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.


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