John was born in Carnegie, OK, the 11th of 12 children of hard-working migrant parents, Rogelio & Hermila Flores. His family traveled the states of Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, Ohio & California following the different agricultural seasons and the work they provided. In 1961, the family settled in Victor, CA, continuing to travel back and forth to Texas until Rogelio passed in 1970 at the age of 48.
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Thereafter, the family moved to Oakdale, where John spent his elementary and high school years, graduating from Oakdale High School in 1979.
He met Lupe in 1981, in Lodi, where both were working for a family member. She was 16 and he 20 years of age. As their relationship blossomed, they explored the various lakes and rivers surrounding the Lodi and Oakdale areas, furthering John's life-long love of fishing and instilling the same in Lupe. They included John's young nephews on their many fishing expeditions.
John's work life included driving for some of the Lodi fruit packers, helping his brother-in-law in his businesses and eventually learning the construction trade of framing and truss-work. After a 9 year long-distance relationship between Oakdale and Lodi, John and Lupe were married in August of 1990, eloping on a cruise to Catalina Island. John began his career at Lodi Memorial Hospital that same year, working on their various construction upgrades. He remained a loyal and well-liked employee for 21 years, working in their Facilities Management Dept. as a Project Technician. He took pride in every aspect of his work and in every project he helped complete including their recent expansion.
In 1992, they purchased a home in Galt and the first of their two children was born. Clarice was his princess, his munchkin and his everyday joy. As she grew into the young lady she is today, he naturally undertook a role as a protective father. He was proud of her independent spirit and strength of character. He taught his daughter to shoot and handle firearms and they enjoyed weekend morning shoots.
In 1996, his son, Christopher, was born. CJ, as John liked to call him, inherited his good looks, his artistic talent, his integrity and protective nature. John recruited CJ to guard his princess, Clarice, whenever possible. Together they developed a love of bow-shooting and spent hours traipsing up and down courses at the Lodi Bowmen's Club property. As Christopher got older, John worked with his son to pass on his knowledge and skill of working with his hands and learning to use various tools. Christopher made his father proud everyday by excelling in his schoolwork as well.
Even though family activities such as his kid's softball, basketball and soccer games, family camp-outs and get-togethers always came first, John loved the outdoors. His passions included fishing in the Delta with his nephews, bow-hunting for deer with his brother Mario in Oregon, pheasant hunting with his beloved Labradors, Raven and Whiskey, and duck hunting with friends and neighbors. He was a supporter and member of the Boy Scouts of America, the Lodi Bowmen's Club and Hastings Island Hunting Preserve.
In November of 2011, John was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. He underwent many chemo treatments at UC Davis Medical Center, reaching remission and receiving a bone marrow transplant in May 2012 from his donor, older brother Roy. He continued recovering from the BMT, returning to work in November 2012 to Lodi Memorial Hospital. His employer and co-workers were a constant source of encouragement and support and John found this truly touching. In December he suffered a complication from the BMT but was slowly recovering. He was hospitalized in January with what resulted as a severe lung infection from which he did not recover. His loving wife and family surrounded him as his suffering peacefully ended.
He is survived by his wife, Lupe, children, Clarice & Christopher, siblings Sulema Salinas, Elena Vega, Socorro Castillo, Gloria Flores, Hilda Ochoa, Rosie Cantu, Roy Flores, Dalia Rivas, Bob Flores, Mario Flores and their spouses. He leaves behind numerous nephews, nieces, great-nephews and nieces, mother-in-law, and sister & brother-in-laws, as well as many, many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rogelio & Hermila Flores and sister Guadalupe.
Visitation will be held Thursday, February 7, 2013 at Lodi Funeral Home from 8 am to 8 pm. A Vigil service is scheduled for Thursday evening at 7 pm at Lodi Funeral Home. A graveside service will be offered by Deacon Porfi Cisneros on Friday, February 8, 2013 at 2 pm at Cherokee Memorial Park Cemetery. A gathering for family and friends will follow.
A memorial fund has been established at F & M Bank, Galt, CA. John was fortunate to have a donor match for his transplant but many do not. His wishes were for others to consider registering at www.bethematch.org.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel on Feb. 7, 2013