Dr. Blas Oliveros Rayos, Jr., of Indialantic died Sunday, July 28, surrounded by family following a brief illness. He was 88. Born in Manila, Philippines, on Dec. 18, 1924, he was a retired medical doctor and Air Force colonel who loved to say he was an immigrant who lived the American dream.
He was the son and namesake of Blas Rayos Sr., a pioneer in education in the Philippines who founded the University of Pangasinan in Dagupan City, and his mother Gregoria Oliveros. Blas Jr. served both his native home and his adopted country. Too young to enlist, he worked as a civilian clerk for the military during World War II and eventually enrolled in ROTC; later in life he served as a U.S. Air Force physician. He went to medical school at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila and came to the United States to complete his medical residency. Working at French Hospital in New York City, he met a nurse who would become his bride, Bernice. They were wed in 1958 and embarked on a life's journey that would take them around the globe and back to the United States, where they would raise their seven children and spend 54 years together. He became a U.S. citizen in 1964. After private medical practice in Rahway, New Jersey, he joined the Air Force, traveling to Texas, California, Germany and Chicksands, England before he eventually moved his family to Florida when he was assigned to Patrick Air Force Base Hospital in 1980. He was a member of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Indialantic for 30 years. In retirement, he enjoyed gardening, tending to a backyard orchard of mango and exotic fruits, and spending time with his four grandchildren.
He is survived by his children Joseph Blas, Chevy Chase, Md.; Patricia, Gainesville; Richard, Seattle; Kandace, Los Angeles; Gail Rayos Burbank and her husband Joe of Maitland; Carol Rayos Davis and her husband Daniel of Melbourne Beach; grandchildren Sarah and Anna Burbank, John and Kathleen Davis; and sister Perla Rayos Gazmen, Philippines. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Bernice, who passed away March 2013, and his daughter, Mary.
Visitation is at the chapel of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Indialantic, on Monday, August 5 at 10 a.m. followed by Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Burial service and reception will be at Fountainhead Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Palm Bay.