John M. Flowers

Born: Thu., Oct. 28, 1943
Died: Fri., Aug. 21, 2015


8:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Fri., Aug. 28, 2015
Location: Mid Hudson Civic Center

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Fri., Aug. 28, 2015
Location: Mid Hudson Civic Center

Print Obituary   Home Page All Obituaries


  John M. Flowers was born in Brundidge, Alabama, on October 28, 1943 to the late J. D. Flowers and Tommie Mae Lane. He was called home to glory on Friday, August 21, 2015.  John moved to Poughkeepsie at the age of 10. He attended Poughkeepsie High School where his quick hands and his on-point jump-shots made him an all-county basketball star. He served his country as a member of the United States Army’s 82nd Airborne Division during the Viet Nam War. He was a self-employed general contractor for over 30 years and loved to renovate houses.

  John Flowers has been a community organizer since 1992. It was in that year he started Christmas Gifts to Nursing Homes and Hospitals after visiting his sister in a cancer hospital in Boston.  Other events followed and every event has a purpose:   2010 - Started Christmas in February at the VA Hospital to recognize the veterans.  1995 – Started the Old Fashioned Easter Egg Hunt so kids in Poughkeepsie can experience the same fun he had as a kid in Alabama.  2003 - Started Mother’s Day Roses to Nursing Homes & Hospitals to recognize the mothers in memory of his mom and dad who died three months of each other.  2002 - Started the Father’s Day Parade (first in the history of the country) to recognize the wonderful fathers in the Hudson Valley.  2004 - Started Church Picnic Dedicated to God to celebrate what God has done for all of us.  2009 - Started Halloween Party/Haunted House for the kids.  Each year he worked with the Hickey family in organizing the volunteers for the Eileen Hickey Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners at the Lunch Box.

  John was the recipient of many notable awards throughout the community. On June 20, 2015, he received the prestigious honor of having lower Main Street dedicated in his name. He was so overwhelmed with gratitude that he spent almost every night at the John M. Flowers circle reflecting on the many lives he touched with his events and the countless people who inspired him.

  John Flowers leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Glenda Flowers; 5 daughters, Yvonne Flowers, Alicia Flowers-Mullings (Fitz), Sheree Flowers-Preston (Levi), Lashonda Flowers, of Poughkeepsie, NY, Shatia Flowers-Valerio (Jerry) of Monroe, NY and special niece, Dr. Crystal Slade (Edward) .  Two sons, Frank Flowers (Lida) and John Flowers Jr. (Lilibeth) of Poughkeepsie, and special nephew, Dennis Slade (Vickie); three brothers, Larry Lane (Paula) of Texas, Horye Flowers (Theodora) and Wilfred Flowers of Alabama; two sisters, Delphia Williams and LaDedra Ruffin (AC); Life partner and special friend, Ralphynne Vance; 18 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins and friends.   He was predeceased by his two sisters, Joan Slade Keys and Mildred Simmons and his daughter, Larissa Flowers McKinnon.

  Visitation will be Friday, August 28, 2015; 8AM-11AM at Mid Hudson Civic Center and services will immediate follow at 11AM with Pastor Jesse V. Bottoms officiating.  Burial in Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery . Arrangements are under the direction of Joseph J. Darrow Sr. Funeral Home, 39 South Hamilton Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 (845 4521840.  To send online condolences please visit our website at www.darrowfuneral home. org.



Click to send flowers using our local area florist
Direct website to florist ordering, saving on wire fees
View/Sign the Condolence Book

Click the button to generate a printable document containing all condolences submitted

Condolence Booklet

Kristine Conte
   Posted Tue August 25, 2015
I am very sad John, that you are no longer part of this world. Your loving words, beautiful smile, and gentle handshakes will be greatly missed. You made me feel as if you and I were the closest of friends when in reality, I know, you and I were just mere acquaintances. Your life was full of them. But oh, how you made me feel like what I had to say was important. How intently you would listen to what I was saying. Or how gently you interjected with your words of wisdom. The tears I will shed will continue to flow because you and I will no longer have those bump-in's, where we would just chat about what was going on that day. How I loved our conversations about God, your events, work, humanity, second chances, your shoes, politics, or just whatever we ate for lunch that day. How I will cherish those moments. I feel privileged that I was able to interview you on so many occasions for TV. You were such an easy interviewee. I'll never forget about the "funny moment" we always recalled when we wanted a good laugh. It was when I was covering the Nancy Cozean press conference and you were asked to speak at the podium and you gave me that deer in headlights stare. I know you so wanted to pretend it was the oscars and say "I'd like to thank God, my momma, and the academy..." I'll never forget when you offered me a job when I fell victim to corporate downsizing at Cablevision, I'll never forget the egg hunts my kids have participated in, and I'll never forget your patent leather shoes - for no one will ever be able to fill them. I love you John Flowers. God speed. I'll catch you on the other side.

MaryAnn Landolfo
   Posted Tue August 25, 2015
My condolences to the Family of John Flowers
Your father was a loving, caring man who would always go out of his way to help someone if they were in need. Your father taught me that you have to live life and never take it for granted. And sometimes all you need to make someone's day is to say Hello or just say something or do something kind for them. Which is true because we don't know what they are going through or feeling.
I was so very lucky to have met John and become friends with him and to meet some of his family during the events he had organized for the community. I am saddened that he is no longer with us making the world a brighter, better place for everyone. I will miss calling John and him telling me don't talk to me on the phone, what are you doing now? Come and hang out with me at the radio station. I would and we would laugh and talk about life and how the world is changing, god and to always have faith. And when it was close to gift wrapping for x-mas, easter and mother's day I would always pester him for the date so I could tell the middle school so the kids could come help. John would joke and say oh it's that time already. One day we were talking on the radio and when we were done John said here this is for you. It was a copy of us on the radio, I am so glad he gave me the CD because I have his voice and laughter on it. John gave myself and all of us elves who went to the hospitals, nursing homes and Children's Home with him special memories that will last a lifetime. We all know John's favorite Christmas songs; Silent Night and White Christmas and I know every time I hear those songs I will think of John and smile and be sad that he is no longer hear on earth with us. But I know that he will be singing it up in heaven for all to hear. I will continue to volunteer and help carry on John's dream of making sure we could make as many people happy as possible. As your dad and I once said it's all about paying it forward and sometimes the little things mean a lot to some people. Once again, I am sorry for your loss but I guess God needed him up in heaven. I feel your pain and grief and understand it my dad lost his battle with cancer 2 years ago. Like you I would give anything to have my dad back healthy and happy but just know that they will always be part of us and we will see them again.

   Posted Tue August 25, 2015
I have beautiful Memories of Mr. John Flowers, seeing his Happy face at different Zumba Gold Events and Fund Raisers.

Especially this year at the VA Hospital watching his Zumba Girls perform and some of his Elves joining in our Dance routine.

He was always a Pleasure to meet and be around.

A Truly Wonderful Man.

ruly Wonderful Man.

Vicki Hosier
   Posted Tue August 25, 2015
I will like to take this time to send are throught and prayer to your family and friend.John was a great person Al and mysheilf love wroking the two years thatJohn did the father day thing it was alot of fun with him.I will remmber it.He will be miss R.I.P. John From The Hosier Family

Joan elmendorf
   Posted Tue August 25, 2015
We are saddened by the loss of John I have known him for 25+ years from my Noah's days to when I bartended at Mardi Bob and he tried to teach me to line dance. Giving flowers at the nursing home to helping at the va hospital. Stuffing eggs and many more times. He was the most caring and giving man I have ever met. If you ever need help doing anything I would love to still help if I can he will always be in my heart and memories. God bless your family and I am so glad he came into my life...I do see good in people because of him. Live to your family he will be missed. God bless.

Nancy Tomaszewski
   Posted Tue August 25, 2015
What can you say at times like this? Nothing could adequately describe the emotions I am experiencing - gratitude that I was blessed to meet John, pride that I was lucky enough to volunteer alongside you and oh so sad to know I will never again see that bright smile (except in my memory), hear that great laugh or calm voice or share a hug! You were a man who inspired many to be better people and to care about others. You showed the world the value of a smile or kind word and how little it took to make someone's day! Every minute of everyday you were finding knew ways to make a difference and truly help. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a wonderful human being! God must have really needed your help in heaven because he would have never called you home if it wasn't something important! We will miss you, my friend but we are all better because we were given the opportunity to know and love you! To John's family - my deepest sympathies at this difficult time. Let the love of your family and friends help you through, value the memories and know how much John loved you and that he is up in heaven watching over you!

Richard McHugh
   Posted Wed August 26, 2015
A man of great love and character who touched many . John gave so much to benefit all of mankind. A true man of the people. May he always be by our side.

Sandy Gray
   Posted Wed August 26, 2015
Met John about 3 years ago when I volunteered to wrap gifts for Christmas ...we had a fun time at the bowling alley with many others and he was there to thank everyone and just chat! I also worked with him and his elves setting up and serving Thanksgiving dinner @ Dutchess Outreach and that was another awesome venue filled with so many givers and of course John there to lend a hand and cheer everyone on....I will never forget his kindness and great smile/and sense of humor...what a great guy....RIP my friend!

Rev. Ted Miller
   Posted Wed August 26, 2015
We've all known you were His disciple.. by your love, by your love!
Our prayers of love abide with you, and all who've loved you.

Rev. T. Miller
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Salt Pont, NY

pledge jones
   Posted Wed August 26, 2015

WARM SMILE was sent by The Flowers Family Tree Members.

From the Flowers Family Tree Auntie Donnella of Detroit, Michigan and Your First Cousins Residing in Florida, Georgia, and Michigan

pledge jones
   Posted Wed August 26, 2015

SPATHIPHYLLUM was sent by The Flowers Family Tree Members.

From the Flowers Family Tree Auntie Donnella of Detroit, Michigan and Your First Cousins residing in Florida, Georgia, and Michigan

Pledge Jones
   Posted Wed August 26, 2015
Flowers Family,

God is Our Refuge and Strength, A very present help in trouble...Psalm 46:1

A Fruitful Leaf fell from our Family Tree. Family was always at the forefront of his heart. He was a Masterful Jokester, who would always bring joy, happiness, and lots of fun to our hearts.

We love you, John Morgan, and we will miss you greatly.

From the Flowers Family Tree

Auntie Donnella of Detroit,, Michigan
Your First Cousins Residing in Florida, Georgia, and Michigan

Sandy and Bill Norton
   Posted Wed August 26, 2015
Having known John for the 30 years it is great sorrow we feel with his passing. He was an exceptional person who thought of others before himself. He was always in a good mood and always took the time to say hello and see how you were doing. Words can never express how much he will be missed by the community. Rest in peace now John.

Dominick Ignaffo
   Posted Thu August 27, 2015
My deepest condolences to John's family. Whenever I came into John's presence I would ask him "how is the Pope of Poughkeepsie " and he would embarrassingly Shake his head and change the conversation to my direction. There are few people on earth that have the depth of warmth,, generosity and humility as John Flowers. His absence will leave a vacuum. I cannot imagine filling those black and white shoes. We will all miss you John.
DCC Leg. Distr. 4

Betsy kopstein
   Posted Thu August 27, 2015
I have known john from high school.
His passing has left a huge whole in the poughkeepsie community
I worked with him at vassar and honored him at rotary
My condolences to the whole family

Donna Lankard
   Posted Thu August 27, 2015
It is with great sorrow that I express my loss for John. He was such a special man that touched so many lives. He was like the Pied Piper of charity- people followed him knowing that he was doing good works. His belief in God was refreshing and inspiring. He loved seeing people light up when they were served with food, gifts, flowers or just his amazing smile. He offered hope and happiness with just a little wink of his eye.

There were so many children and adults that were influenced by his powerful yet simple story of the teddy bear gift. John came to my Girl Scout troop meeting and shared the story- I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. Something so simple and so powerful. All of my girls were then eager to be his little elf's and helped with the collection and wrapping of the bears and stuffed friends. That was 10 years ago. My second troop has continued on the tradition.

John touched so many lives and will be remembered sweetly. So sorry for the loss but his memory will live on as his projects will endure past his short time with us.

Our Girl Scout community will be hosting a food drive for the Lunch Box in John's honor.

God Bless you till we meet again.

Dr.Mary Campilii
   Posted Thu August 27, 2015
How blessed your family is to be related ( we only experienced) such a human being made in the image of God, which is LOVE. God demonstrated : 1)why we were created-to be in relation to Him and ,2) the purpose we were to live out on earth-serve others. John fulfilled the purpose he was sent to earth for ( few worldly "successful" humans can reach this level); as he walked in PURE love.

I met John Flowers when I arrived back home after losing my son,Joshua, in Ga. In ministering to others; I was serving a meal to the homeless at the Family Partnership Center. John disguised himself as one of the homeless and kept close observation on how I served wholeheartedly. Before leaving, he handed me a business card inviting me to be on his radio show! He was full of surprises from that point on, as anyone will tell you. As God would have it- I came into his life at the time he lost his daughter,Larissa. I ministered to his broken heart and mind from my enlightened experience with death. His heart was so broken that I now know just how much of his life went with her. A non-profit for unwed mothers & their fatherless children was birthed with the passing of my son.The first assignment I accompanied John on was : renting a U-Haul truck & going to the other side of the river to load it with boxes of apples. The first stop was a motherhood home. As we went around serving others together- I remained amazed at how many people knew John on both sides of the river. (who does not know him?).But people kept saying "sorry" and he could not stand for that. I am glad I assisted him as a channel for grief. Both of us found the proper channel for grieving is giving. John definitely danced through his journey here and rejoiced for every moment. John also put music (spiritually & materially) into everyone's life. He would visit the projects & give out caseloads of "Gold" "Heart & Soul " CD's.
My mother connected with John's mother through the song he dedicated daily to her on radio. No matter how feeble in mind my mother gets- she never stops requesting that song. Right now, ma & I are listening to a CD John gave my mother . He labeled it For "MOM" and titled it "And Soto Dream". John, your character /dreams /and gifts you gave the world will remain cherished. There is a song I am sure John is singing to us: (the words go something like), May the good Lord be with you down every road you travel. May sunshine & happiness surround you when you are far from home. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Your guiding light be strong. May you never love in vain.The stairway to heaven is for the rich or the vagabond. When i finally fly away, I hope i served you well. For wisdom of a lifetime no one can ever tell. In my heart you will remain forever young.
Family,in the bible God is likened to a mother eagle carrying her eaglets so carefully on her wings. Allow God to carry you through this storm.

Leola Ruffin-McPhee
   Posted Thu August 27, 2015
My deepest sympathy goes out to the Flowers family, especially my 'sister' Yvonne. Thank you for sharing John with Poughkeepsie. He has touched and changed so many lives thorough his numerous events. I have many fond memories of John. We had great times in the Hi-Lo mixed bowling league as well as at the parties that John use to sponsor after bowling was over. He has always been generous and fun to be around. I remember the first Easter Egg hunt at the river front and accompanying him in the early days of visiting hospitals singing Christmas Carols. His smile was infectious and he had a great sense of human. Every time I saw him he greeted me with a hug. I will truly miss my friend. I am blessed to have known him.

Karen Barone
   Posted Fri August 28, 2015
John Flowers touched so many lives as he so freely gave of his time and compassion to others. I will be forever grateful for having the privilege of knowing him. He and his elves spent many years bringing roses and holiday gifts to our residents at the Pines at Poughkeepsie. I will always remember and laugh the year the Christmas tree was knocked over when trying to take a picture. My sincere sympathy and prayers for John's family.

Valerie Towsley (friend of Yvonne's from IBM 7-8 years ago)
   Posted Sat August 29, 2015
Dear Yvonne, I was so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. He was such a wonderful man and brought joy into so many people's lives. I always enjoyed our conversations on the phone and when we met while I worked at IBM. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God be with you. With love and good memories, Valerie

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use