Newton family remembers man killed on New Year’s Eve
NEWTON, Kan. Tuesday night after a disturbance with a man in the 300 block of southeast 4th Street. Another caller said there was a man on the ground in that area bleeding.When officers arrived, they found the man lying on the sidewalk. They attempted life saving measures, but he died from his injuries. The man has been identified as 54 year old Robert (Bobby) Flores Sr.”I never thought I’d lose anyone so close to me,” Selena Flores, Flores’ daughter, said Wednesday morning. “And that was my dad.””I just miss him,” Valerie Hatton, Flores’ wife said.”I just wonder why, why it had to be like that,” said Robert Flores, Jr, Flores’ son.Members of the Flores family gathered at Bobby Flores’ home Wednesday.”It’s sad,” Selena said. “I mean one day you wake up and your worst nightmare can happen ## ## . But you’ve got to be strong.”They say he died the way he lived, trying to help others. And that’s what they want us all to know about the man many called “Spider”.”I want him to be remembered as who he was and what he wanted to be remembered as,” Selena said. “He loved softball. He loved his family. And that’s what he did.”Many in the public knew Flores from softball. His family took strength from one of the most visible reminders of that love, a reminder that filled Bobby Flores’ closet, his many softball jerseys.”I grew up watching my dad play softball and I played softball with him,” Briana, Flores’ daughter, holding up one of his jerseys.”This is his last bat,” she said. “He was so proud because it’s for cancer victims.”Most in the family put on one of Flores’ jerseys, saying it made them feel closer to him.”I feel like he’s with me. And I know he’s up there watching over us and I know he’s still going to take care of us. He’s always taken care of us,” said Tyler McAhren, Flores’ son in law.”I would see my dad wearing this thing twice a week and now I’m here wearing it,” said Robert.The family says Flores’ love of softball and baseball goes back to his childhood.”Running around my parent’s backyard, we all developed skills that went on to be athletic,” said his older brother, Charles Flores. “We played against each other one time and he beat his big brother!”That love eventually took him around the country, with stops everywhere from Newton to Las Vegas, Florida and Texas.”He’d always hit a home run, always hit a home run, always hit it over the fence,” said Selena. “Always.”His wife remembers near weekly road trips to tournaments.”Whether it was rain, snow, sleet, hail, we were always at softball,” Hatton said.His childhood friend Ben Clay played with him. Their trips the first thing he thinks about when he thinks of Flores.”Every single softball tournament that I would drive us to, within two minutes of being in the car he’d be asleep and snoring. And then I would hit a bump or hit the brakes on purpose. He was like, ‘What? I wasn’t snoring.’ Which clearly he was. But he did it every time,” Clay said.