(Extensions of Remarks - November 19, 2003)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E2318-E2319]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                           HON. MARCY KAPTUR

                                of ohio

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, November 18, 2003

  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a truly 
remarkable man, The

[[Page E2319]]

Honorable Joseph Flores of Toledo, Ohio. Recently retired from the 
Lucas County Juvenile Court, Judge Flores has graciously served our 
community for several decades. For many who came to this area, Joe 
Flores was the first person who greeted them and welcomed them to our 
community. Whether it was as attorney, mentor, or friend, he was 
dedicated to helping others recognize their potential.
  A proud Mexican American, Joe was born August 2, 1934 to Carmen 
Ventura and Jose Suarez Flores in Toledo. He graduated from the 
University of Notre Dame in 1956 with a degree in Political Science. He 
entered into the United States Navy's Officers Candidate School and 
completed 52 months of active duty, ending in 1961, having attained the 
rank of Lieutenant Commander.
  While still in the Navy, Joe Flores met his wife, Mary Jane, a naval 
nurse, and the two were married in 1964. They are the parents of two 
children, Andre Jose and Maria Carmen. Returning from the Navy, Joe 
decided to attend law school. He graduated from Ohio Northern 
University in 1964 and practiced law in Findlay, Ohio for one year.
  Moving to Toledo in 1966, Joe practiced law with attorneys Charles 
Doneghy and Robert Penn. Interestingly, all three became judges. He 
decided to run for elected office because he enjoyed interacting with 
people when Judge Doneghy would ask him to help at various events. Joe 
Flores was elected Judge of the Lucas County Juvenile Court in 1981. 
``At that time, few Latinos were part of the legal community. Becoming 
known as the Judge who could speak Spanish, he ended up being asked to 
do a variety of translations. Judge Flores is thought to be the first 
elected Latino Judge in Ohio. Carlos Cordova was an acting judge at the 
time, but was not elected to the post. Since then, Ohio has had two 
other Latino Judges, Jose Villanueva (Cuyahoga County Common Pleas) and 
Gustalo Nunez (Lorain Municipal Court.)
  Recognizing his contributions to the legal profession and the 
Hispanic community, the Latino Peace Officers Association created the 
Judge Joseph Flores Award in May 2003. The award will be given annually 
to a Latino Peace Officer who exhibits exemplary service to the 
community. The group decided to name the award after Flores due to his 
instrumental role in integrating the Toledo Police Department with more 
Latino Peace Officers.
  I am pleased to pay special tribute to my friend Judge Flores for his 
pioneering efforts on behalf of Latinos in Northwest Ohio. 
Understanding the importance of a representative voice in the local 
community, he was the first Latino on many boards as he stresses the 
importance of community involvement for Hispanics/Latinos.
  Judge Joseph Flores forged his career with courage and determination, 
despite facing many obstacles along the way. He blazed the trail where 
none existed, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of 
Latino leaders. Onward!