MEMO BLOG Memo Calendar Memo Pad Business Memos Meals on Wheels Letters Home
The 411 on 211info
End of the road for Parkrose bus drivers?
100 years of good, clean living
Parkrose Middle School construction update
Beloved coach and P.E. teacher dies

About the MEMO
MEMO Archives
MEMO Advertising
MEMO Country (Map)
MEMO Web Neighbors
MEMO Staff

© 2013 Mid-county MEMO
Terms & Conditions
100 years of good, clean living
Raymond (Ray) Alexander greets friend Dorothy Drews at his 100th birthday party held at Gateway Church last month.
Mid-county Memo photos/Tim Curran
At 100 years old, Raymond Alexander, seated, is Oregon's oldest licensed optometrist. Pictured with wife Ann and his children, from left, Sue, Ray and Patti, he marked his birthday with more than 150 family members, friends and well-wishers last month at Gateway Church.
According to his birth certificate, Raymond Alexander turned 100 on Oct. 27. However, he'll tell you that that's just a piece of paper, and that he was really born Oct. 28. “My mom told me I was born at 3 a.m. on the 28th, and I believe her.”

However, this year-surrounded by more than 150 friends, family members and well-wishers at Gateway Church, the congregation he co-founded with four other families more than 55 years ago-he celebrated his 100th birthday on the official date.

Alexander said his three keys to a long, happy life are, in order, find a good wife, keep busy and never really retire. Until he officially retired at age 80, Alexander practiced optometry for more than 55 years in downtown Portland at Reynolds Optical/Alexander Brothers Optometrist. Despite retiring, he keeps his license current. The state recently notified him that he is the oldest licensed optometric physician in Oregon.

“He renews his license every year,” said his son Ray. “He says, 'I don't know if that young feller will make a go of it, so I better renew it.'”

An avid hiker and outdoorsman, Alexander's son Ray said growing up, they day-hiked all over the Columbia Gorge. “Oh yeah, he took us as kids. To this day, my wife and I hike. He used to tie a rope around me he said for safety, but I think it was to pull him up those hills.” He added, “My Dad has never been much for material goods, never. So that was activity for him.”

Alexander built his home in east Portland's Russell neighborhood more than 60 years ago by himself, “I like to build,” he said at his birthday party. “I didn't know anything about building; I had time on my hands. I never expected to live in it.” Son Ray said it took more than two years, but he did it, and still lives there today with wife Ann. They recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

The biggest change he's seen living in east Portland has been the growth. “This was out in the country when I built our home,” Alexander said.

Day trading stocks keeps him mentally active said his son Ray, and he is still an avid walker. “They walk Glendoveer all the time,” Ray said. “Mom's got a bad foot, but they still go together. She sits in the car in the parking lot and watches him as far as she can see him, and then he turns around and comes back.”
Memo Calendar | Memo Pad | Business Memos | Meals on Wheels | Letters | About the MEMO
MEMO Advertising | MEMO Archives | MEMO Web Neighbors | MEMO Staff | Home