Rest in Peace: Louis Fernando Flores
CHD would like to give our condolences to the Flores family. One of the CHD Founders, Louis Fernando Flores, passed away on September 13, 2022, surrounded by his family. Louis had a lifelong passion for justice and advocacy for farmworkers, their families, and others in need. Louis, along with others, founded North Bay Human Development Corp which became California Human Development. Louis’ primary focus within CHDC was to promote quality affordable housing for farmworkers and their families. With Louis’ leadership, CHDC developed three farmworker family housing complexes in Northern California and three farmworker migrant housing centers in Napa Valley. Louis along with other community members recognized the need for medical care in Napa Valley for farmworkers and their families, which led to the creation of Clinic OLE. Initially staffed by volunteers, Clinic OLE, now known as OLE Health, today operates seven clinics, serving annually over 40,000 patients in Napa and Solano counties. Louis’ work on behalf of farmworkers has been celebrated by the City of Napa, with his likeness appearing in a mural in downtown Napa, and by the City of Santa Rosa, where he is featured in a mural in the library of Elsie Allen High School. CHD is thankful for all the work Louis did and we will continue to serve and represent our clients.
Please see the full obituary for Louis Flores below. Courtesy of the Flores Family.
Louis Fernando Flores, 91, peacefully passed away on September 13, 2022, surrounded by his family in his Napa home of 61 years. Born February 2, 1931, to Inez and Ricardo Flores in Lincoln, New Mexico and was named Fernando Luis Flores. At the onset of World War II, Louis and his family moved to San Francisco in search of an improved quality of life.
After graduating high school, in 1948, Louis enlisted in the US Navy, serving as an Electrician Technician 2 aboard a destroyer class ship during the Korean Conflict. It was the US Navy who changed Louis’ name, from Fernando Luis to Louis Fernando.
After the end of his naval service, Louis attended Fresno State University, where he met his wife-to-be, Joyce Carlotta Savala. In 1958 Louis and Joyce were married and made their home in Napa while raising five children. Louis continued his education at UC Berkeley and by 1964 had been awarded a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in electrical engineering. During and beyond his time studying at UC Berkeley, Louis worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (the ‘RadLab’) under Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Professor Luis Walter Alvarez.
Louis developed a lifelong passion for justice and maintained a continuous life of advocacy for farmworkers, their families and others in need. His passion led to him to organize and participate in multiple community organizations such as the Napa Council for Economic Opportunity; serving as the Vice-President of the Mexican American Political Association; assisting in the establishment of a center for Chicano Studies at the UC Davis, and the establishment of Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University (DQU) in Davis.
In 1967, Louis, along with others, founded the North Bay Human Development Corp, which became California Human Development Corp (CHDC). CHDC, a private non-profit, provides opportunities of promoting employment, housing and citizenship to farm workers and other low-income individuals. Louis’ primary focus within CHDC was to promote quality affordable housing to farmworkers and their families. With Louis’ effort, CHDC built or partnered in the creation of three farmworker family housing complexes in Northern California and three farmworker migrant housing centers in the Napa Valley.
In 1972, Louis along with other community members, recognized the need for comprehensive and personalized medical care, in the Napa Valley, for farmworkers and their families, which led to the creation of Clinic OLE. From a medical clinic, staffed by volunteers, Clinic OLE, now known as OLE Health, today operates seven clinics, serving annually over 40,000 patients in Napa and Solano counties.
To continue his pursuit of justice, in 1974, Louis received his juris doctor from UC Hastings College of Law and opened a private law practice in Napa.
Louis’ work on behalf on the farmworker community has been celebrated by the City of Napa, with his likeness appearing in a mural in downtown Napa, and by the City of Santa Rosa, where he is featured in a mural in the library of Elsie Allen High School.
As Louis aged he found time to enjoy simpler things in life. Such as a day on the golf course, working on his El Camino, gardening with Joyce, eating ice cream, and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Louis was a great story teller and ensured the younger generations were aware of their family roots and understood the value of a quality education. As a father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Louis’ influence on our family and our community will continue to be felt strongly for many years to come.
Louis is survived by five children Miguel Flores (Bea), Kevin Flores, Kelly Flores-Nixon (Kurtis), Kimura Flores (David); Luis Flores Jr (Bridget), 12 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren.
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