Juan Antonio "John" Flores, 45, of West Caldwell, N.J. died on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, surrounded by his loving family.
A memorial will be held in the Dancy Funeral Home, 9 Smull Ave., Caldwell, N.J., on Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 4 to 9 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held in St. Aloysius R.C. Church, 219 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell, N.J. on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m.
Flores was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Prospect Park, N.J., prior to moving to West Caldwell in 1994. He was an officer with the Essex County Department of Corrections and the Essex County Sheriff's Department, where he was loved and respected by his brothers and peers.
Flores was an accomplished saltwater fisherman, well known by sportsmen around the world. He was also known for popularizing the jigging and popping sport in the United States and offering his generous advice throughout the fishing community.
A lifelong athlete, he was a competitive basketball player, playing at both Caldwell College and the Caldwell Community Center.
He is survived by his wife Gail (De Bellis); daughter, Nina Rae, his "biggest girl in the world"; brothers, Ismael Sierra, Carlos and his wife, Jane Sierra, and Alex Flores; sisters, Terry Rivera and her husband, Julio, Jacqueline and Jessica Flores; his father, Jesus; and his aunt Emma and uncle Manuel Rodriguez. He was predeceased by his mother, Margarita.
Also survived by Paul and Barbara De Bellis, Dawn and Alfred D'Alessandro, Lia and William Kuglin, Paula and Chris Sules, and Paul and Nicole De Bellis; 23 nieces and nephews for whom he was a role model and who adored their Uncle, and "Mack," his furry four-legged son.
In lieu of flowers, donations in John's memory to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital would be deeply appreciated.