Obituary of David Flores
It is with broken hearts that we share the news of the tragic and sudden passing of David Antonio Flores on January 10, 2024.
David was a beloved father, husband, brother, uncle, cousin, godfather, and friend. Son of Dr. Cathryn Flores (nee Larkin) and Hernan Flores, David was born on November 8, 1977, in the Bronx, New York. As a young child, David loved Saturday morning cartoons, Lucky Charms, the Muppets and cult classic channel 11 movies. Growing up in the Bronx, he spent much of his time shadowing his older sister Nina, and giving his cousins Jessica and Nikki a hard time. David and Nina lost both their parents at a young age, and so both learned very early in life how to problem-solve and be independent. As the protective older sister, Nina took David into her care and contributed to all aspects of David’s growth and upbringing, from his taste in music to his taste in video games. Halo was a family favorite co-op. Throughout his life, Nina was a deeply trusted advisor to David in important life decisions, and still today contributes to the raising of his two children, Anjali and Bodhi. Even as Nina took her young brother under her wing, there were many loving hands guiding David towards his future. His Uncle Felix and Aunt Maria took David into their home with open arms; dear family friend Karen Karlson assisted in his continuing education; and family friends Helen and Charlie Santiago supported, cared for, and loved him through his entire adult life.
From his youth, David was always building. His favorites were building blocks, tinker toys, and Legos. He loved the outdoors and nature. Most of his free time was spent combing the beaches of Florida with his family and chosen “framily” and exploring the trails of the White Mountains. David was a Yankee fan, a Jets fan, and a Lakers Fan. Later he became an F1 enthusiast, Lewis Hamilton leading his list of favorites. David’s indoor passions included drawing, music, cooking, building, bowling, track, watching movies, gaming, and endlessly learning and researching. David had a curious mind primed for science, and he very much enjoyed studying everything from string theory to the stars, to ancient astronaut theory. His outdoor passions were softball, basketball, rollerblading, golfing, snowboarding, surfing, shooting, camping, hiking, and especially cars. Cars were a huge part of David’s life. When he wasn’t racing, he was working, fabricating, fixing. When he wasn’t fixing or racing, he was teaching, teaming up, and mentoring.
David was a natural artist, scientist, creator and empath with a brilliant, inquisitive mind. In so many things, David was self-taught. There was simply nothing David could not do, once he set his mind to it. He graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx. It was there that he met his future best friend and love of his life, Chrystel, though the two were only friends and would not begin their love story until after college. At Spellman, David was a year ahead and was in Color Guard, while Chrystel was a year behind and played in the marching band. After Spellman, David moved onwards and upwards. He graduated from Broome Community College with an Associate’s Degree, and then attended Binghamton University. It was at Binghamton that David would meet many lifelong friends such as Fernando Restrepo, Kevin Tabije, J.R. Gonzalez, Mark Zabala, as well as cross paths with Chrystel again.
In his young professional life, David started as a Graphic Designer in the art department of a small fashion magazine, again by the hand of and side-by-side with his dear sister, Nina. He then became an IT Administrator at Blue Marble / Novo Media Group. Later he worked as the Chief Technology Officer at The Transportation Group, before transitioning into management for the AMF Company. Ultimately, David became self-employed as the owner of Not It Racing. In this role, David grew a network of brotherly bonds across the Northeast Region of America. His love for motorsport began at the side of his brother-in-law Marcus, who ushered David into events with the SCCA. Together, they started attending Track Days which deepened David’s already existing love for cars, particularly BMWs.
It was Karen Karlson who had gifted David in his youth with his first 525, the car that David named Smokey, and would devote nearly twenty years of his life to customizing. David became active in the New York Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America (BMWCCA) and met a dear friend, Michael Sussman. After serving as Vice President for two years, David became the President of the NY Chapter, as well as the Autocross, Newsletter, Street Survival, and Website Chairs. As his network of racing brothers grew, David extended himself into the Northeast Region of NASA (National Auto Sport Association). In February 2018, David was recruited by Stu Philips from the BMWCCA. David wasn’t just another member, looking to join a club. He instantly became part of the family. It didn’t matter the task, David was there to help. David was there to brighten your day. It’s how he earned the nickname “Smiling Dave.” Even through his mask, you could see his eyes smiling.
Before long, David was promoted to Instructor Administrator alongside Chief Instructors, Rick Myers and Jordan Levitt. Along with Meir Rigen, who suddenly passed away on the racetrack on April 20, 2022, Jordan and David comprised the Three Amigos, a circle of brotherhood that will extend past all of their lifetimes. Other special individuals who David had the greatest respect for as drivers and technicians but most importantly as friends include Andy Korinis, Taki Skaltas, and Eric Magnussen. David’s race crew may have known him as “Smiling Dave,” or “Fast Flores” but mostly, David was known by all for his generous selflessness, his extensive knowledge, and his capacity for being an incredible mentor and friend.
Somewhere at the beginning of the racing journey, Chrystel and David fell in love. Friends for nearly fifteen years, they moved through life supporting one another and celebrating each other. In 2007, with the untimely passing of Chrystel’s younger brother, Charles, David was Chrystel’s biggest support. It was David who guided Chrystel through the dark tunnel of grief back into hope. David and Chrystel married in a simple city hall ceremony, because the two could not fathom a formal ceremony with so many of their closest loved ones not present. Best college friends Kevin and Zarah Tabije stood as their witnesses. What began as a 15 year long friendship, which David was masterful in, endured to become a 15 year long marriage. David and Chrystel had just celebrated their crystal anniversary in September 2023. Within these 15 years lived more than a lifetime of adventure, joy, and unspeakable love.
When Anjali and Bodhi were born, David stepped into the role of a doting father with grace and deep dedication. As with everything else David turned his attention to, Anjali and Bodhi bloomed under his loving care. David was a hands-on father, running both kids through their school schedules, extracurriculars, social events, kissing boo boos, and giving pep talks. One major way he expressed his care for his children and family members was through the preparation of loving meals. There was literally nothing he did not do, and nothing he would not do to help those he loved. He took care of everyone before himself, and never asked for anything in return. David, lovingly known at home as Dada, taught his son to face his fear, taught his daughter that nothing lasts forever, and taught Chrystel how to live again. David built the family of four he didn’t get to have growing up: happy, secure, and thriving in love. His children were blessed to have had so much of David in their early years, though forever would simply not be enough.
David is survived by his loving family: his wife, Chrystel Flores (nee Portugues), his daughter, Anjali Danger Flores, son Bodhi Trouble Flores, his sister, Nina Flores, his brother-in-law Marcus Kroll, his godson and nephew Mads Kroll, his niece Eden (Pansy) Kroll, his uncle and aunt, Felix and Maria Flores, cousins, Jessica Flores-Aguilar, Nicole Flores, goddaughter Laura Flores, Alejandro Flores, and lifelong friends including Helen and Charlie Santiago. Beyond this close-knit family, countless friends from all the many eras and facets of David’s life will remember his genius, his infinite kindness, his selflessness, his contagious sense of play and his brilliant, blinding spirit. David’s brilliant light will live on, in the legacy of his daughter and son.
Visitation will be held on Monday, January 15th, 2024 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Joseph F. Nardone’s Funeral Home, 414 Washington St. Peekskill, NY, with a repast following at Gleason’s, 23 Division St. Peekskill, NY, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
A private cremation will take place on January 16th, 2024.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to support David’s children in assisting them financially at the link here.