Judge Lupe Flores remembered

Judge Lupe Flores' funeral

They laid Judge Lupe Flores to rest Monday, April 27, 2015, at Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont amid the leafy green tranquility of this historical place alongside veterans of the Texas War for Independence and Beaumont’s founding fathers. This is a fitting place of rest for a man who left giant footprints in his too-short 65 years on earth.

A Mass of Christian burial at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica preceded the graveside ceremony, and the cathedral was overflowing with judges, lawyers, elected officials, teachers, students and enough first responders to fill the aisles and every available space in the venerable old cathedral. There were also ordinary folks, laborers in their best khakis pressed for the occasion; young mothers with children; and the West Brook High School football team resplendent in their game jerseys — people whose lives were touched in a meaningful way by this man who was a skilled advocate, distinguished jurist, community activist, compassionate neighbor and friend to everyone he met. The titles he cherished most, however, were husband, father and grandfather. To governors and laborers alike, Judge Flores was Lupe – and the crowd that gathered for his funeral was a Lupe Flores kind of group.

Promptly at 11 a.m., the hearse bearing the body of Judge Flores arrived at the cathedral accompanied by a phalanx of motorcycles, squad cars and other vehicles from the Sherriff’s Office, Constable’s Office, Beaumont Fire-Rescue and more. An honor guard from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office stood at attention and saluted as the casket was transported into the church. As judge of County Court at Law No. 2, Flores was considered one of their own, and his eldest son G. James “Jamie” Flores is a deputy.

Monsignor Jerry McGrath greeted the casket at the church door, sanctifying it with holy water before moving to the altar. McGrath noted this was not just a grand venue for his funeral but the home church for Judge Flores and his family, indicating the row where they routinely sat, stood and kneeled to pray. The Mass included scripture readings from District Attorney Bob Wortham and businessman Frank Messina, former president of the Cardinal Club at their mutual alma mater, Lamar University. Both men were long-long friends of Judge Flores but in truth, that described dozens of those present. Bishop Curtis Guillory spoke last and delivered warm remarks that spoke of his friendship with Flores, as well as his faith and service to the community.

Judge Flores is survived by his wife, Nancy Neathery Flores; sons G. James “Jamie” Flores and his wife, Erin Woddail Flores; Christopher “Chris” Hansel Flores and his wife, Kayce McCauley Flores; and Andrew “Andy” Michael Flores; daughter Andrea Flores; grandchildren Jacob Hansel Flores, Karlie Seymour, Natalie Seymour and David Gardner; brothers Samuel Flores and his wife, Dolores Flores, and Patricio Flores and his wife, Glenda; brothers-in-law James Byron Neathery Jr., and Charles Miller Neathery and his wife, Marlene Neathery; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.