POS­I­TIVE TO THE END

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SA­MAN­THA HEALY sa­man­tha. healy@ news. com. au

IT HAD been a long and drawn- out bat­tle but Jen­nie Flores was smil­ing un­til the very end.

And while her body was fail­ing, her at­ti­tude to life al­ways re­mained pos­i­tive.

It was that at­ti­tude that touched the lives of those who knew her, many of whom made the jour­ney from over­seas to say good­bye.

Mrs Flores, wife of award­win­ning res­tau­ra­teur Michel Flores, died from re­nal fail­ure on July 7.

More than 850 peo­ple paid their re­spects at St Joseph’s Church on The Strand yesterday. Her daugh­ter Eloise Flores and son- in- law Matt Rowan led the eu­logy, try­ing to wrap up 60 years of life in just five pages.

“Her life had many ob­sta­cles and she strug­gled for over 20 years with an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of ill­nesses,” Mr Rowan said, adding that neg­a­tiv­ity was not a word in her vo­cab­u­lary.

The mourn­ers heard how the cou­ple met and how Michel told his sis­ter Veron­ica that Jen­nie was the woman he * Pa­per + Cape DVD + Case would marry. But it wasn’t un­til four weeks later, when Jen­nie again re­turned to Michel’s res­tau­rant, that he fi­nally plucked up the courage to ask for her num­ber.

When she died, the cou­ple had been mar­ried for 35 years.

The cou­ple, who had two daugh­ters, were de­scribed as the “dy­namic duo” of the lo­cal res­tau­rant in­dus­try.

Fol­low­ing the birth of her sec­ond child, Jen­nie went into re­nal fail­ure and started dial­y­sis. Three years later, she had her first kid­ney trans­plant. In 2005, Jen­nie re­ceived her sec­ond trans­plant, thanks to a do­na­tion from a fam­ily mem­ber.

But the dis­ease re­fused to give up and in 2013, her leg was am­pu­tated. How­ever, the fam­ily got another two years with their lov­ing mother and soul­mate, who was also able to meet her first grand­child, a girl, in 2014.

Her sec­ond grand­child is due in Novem­ber and Eloise said her mother se­cretly wanted a grand­son.

The last six months of Jen­nie’s life were dif­fi­cult, with her health de­te­ri­o­rat­ing.

“We all know she is out of pain and look­ing down on us from heaven,” Mr Rowan said.

Eloise said the fam­ily was touched by how many peo­ple had come to farewell their loved one.

She said ev­ery­one from the dial­y­sis unit to the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try had come to say good­bye.

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Pic­ture: FIONA HARD­ING

Michel and Jen­nie Flores in 2009. HAPPY FAM­ILY: Jen­nie Flores with her daugh­ters Camille and Eloise and grand­daugh­ter Pippa Grace, and ( left) the crowd out­side St Joseph’s Church on The Strand yesterday.

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