Juan Martinez Flores
Last updated 8/27/2020 at 7:25am
Juan Martinez Flores was born in Ponzitlan, Jalisco Mexico, on March 9, 1945. Roughly two years later, his parents, Mariano Flores and Esperanza Martinez Flores moved to Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.
As a youngster, Juan held the responsibility of working to help support his family, selling newspapers in downtown Tijuana and eventually becoming a mechanic’s apprentice, which ended up defining his career.
At around 13 years of age, Juan began to travel (with his father) across the border to the United States. They were braceros, part of the Mexican Farm Labor agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, working in places like Lemon Grove, Guajome Park in Vista, San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall, and eventually settling in Fallbrook, California in the early 1960’s.
From an early age, Juan was known for his responsibility to his immediate family, caring for eight siblings and helping his parents in purchasing a home in the Via Monserate area in Fallbrook. While traveling back and forth from Tijuana to Fallbrook, Juan met the love of his life, Morayma Maldonado Rueda (born in Delicias, Chihuahua Mexico, July 3, 1948), and they married February 14, 1970.
After working at San Luis Rey Downs, Juan became an independent mechanic and gained a strong reputation as a good mechanic for the Mexican community in Fallbrook. Later he worked as a custodian at Fallbrook High School for 15 years, where he would eventually retire from in 2011.
Juan was friendly, affable and well known for his wisdom, idioms, generosity and steady personality. Because of his genuine nature, Juan became godfather to numerous children from Tijuana to Fallbrook, gained trust from his community, and made friends that would last him a lifetime.
Juan and Morayma engendered four children, Ulysses Flores (1970), Omar and Homero Flores (twins 1973), and Morayma Ybeet Flores-Higinio (1983). Ever the supportive father, Juan encouraged his children to maintain their cultural identity, while pushing them towards a college education.
Ulysses, the eldest son, is now a renowned teacher in Lake Elsinore, California (master’s degree in education), earning a teacher of the year award in 2018. Omar and Homero, identical twins, earned doctoral degrees in educational philosophy in 2017 and currently reside in Chehalis, Washington. Morayma Flores-Higinio is currently in a doctoral program at the University California Riverside, working toward a degree in ethnic studies, and resides in Riverside.
One of Juan’s most significant attributes was his support for the Mexican community in Fallbrook. Juan encouraged his children and family members to carry forward their cultural dexterity, opening his doors to immigrant families, providing financial and emotional support to families in transition and rallied behind social/youth movements in Fallbrook.
Juan’s generosity, positive attitude and words of wisdom will continue to carry the Flores family for generations to come.
We thank our father for his unwavering love and support, for his teachings and for laying the foundation of knowledge for future generations.
Gracias Jefito, te amamos por siempre, y cargaremos adelante tu sabiduría a través de los tiempos.
Juan is survived by his wife Morayma, his children, his grandchildren Gabriela Xochitl, Juan Ulysses, Ricardo Huitzilopochtli, Maya Nicte-Ha, Maribella Itzel, Izabella Mixtli, Xavier Nezahualcoyotl, Enrique Nezahualpilli, Estevan Huitzilli, and siblings Antonio Flores, Jose Luis Flores, Manuel Flores, Maria Flores Guzman, Mario Flores, Victor Flores and Beatriz Flores Lopez. Raul Flores passed (cancer) in 2005.