Carol Marie Flores (December 30, 1957 - July 23, 2021)

In loving memory of
Carol Marie Flores
  • December 30, 1957
  • -
  • July 23, 2021

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Chief Master Sergeant (retired) USAF

Carol Marie Flores, Age 63, passed away from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gerhig’s disease), on July 23, 2021 in Sumter County, The Villages, FL.

She is survived by her Cousin and Caregiver, Cheryl Zuidema (Alan), Aunt Carol Elsteroth, Cousin David Elsteroth, Brother Edward Karrer, half sister Linda Paddack and adoptive Father, Hipolito Flores.

Chief Flores served 23-1/2 years in the USAF, Medical Lab Technician.  She was the first female to achieve E9 status in her medical field of the USAF.  Additionally Chief Flores furthered her education and graduated “CUM LAUDE” with a Bachelor’s Degree from Saint Leo College in Liberal Arts and Sciences, 1992.

She received the following during her service in the USAF:

Air Force Commendation Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal (2), Air Force Training Ribbon, Air Force Overseas Short and LongTour Ribbons, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award (4), Humanitarian Service Medal, Small Arms/Rifle Expert Ribbon, NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon (2), Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (4), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal (6)

Ms. Flores had a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) regarding life, love and family.  Her most loved and unforgettable achievements were during her life in the USAF.

She devoted her final years providing the care and training for her beloved Service Dog, Koda – a Siberian Husky of unique beauty who served his “MaMa” well.  Ms. Flores hand picked his new owners and is lovingly grateful to them.

There will be a Final Salute and Celebration of Life with a reception following at the American Legion Post# 347, Lady Lake, FL. November 13, 2021, Time: 1100 to 1200.

If you are to attend, please RSVP with how many so I have a headcount of how many will be attending for the Legion Hall.

All are welcome to attend and celebrate –

Special Thanks to the Following:

Tampa/Gainesville/Orlando, FL Veterans Administration/ Staff

Paralyzed Veterans of America

The ALS Association

To Those who gave of themselves every day, caregivers, neighbors who are Carol’s Family.


  • In lieu of flowers/cards, it is the wish that a donation be made to The ALS Organization in the name of Carol M. Flores, CmSgt. USAF, to further the research of the disease.

Tribute Wall

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    02 Jun 2022
    I was stationed with then SMSgt Flores as a Defense Courier at Rhein-Mein AB, Frankfurt Germany where she made her CMSgt Stripe as our Courier Superintendent. You were way to young to go out like this. I'm so very sorry you went through so much pain at the end, may you find peace in your eternal resting place.
    Steve Pedrazzi, USAF Retired

  2. Ken Kosko says:
    30 Sep 2021
    You were a true Chief, and a great and passionate leader. When we met, I was lost & discouraged. You guided me back from the brink and reignited my fire and belief in being a Senior NCO. We didn’t always agree but you always listened and guided me to the best outcome. Later, we became best friends, forming the perfect bond between the military & life beyond.

    I will miss you immeasurably because I can never thank you enough for everything you did for me.
    Sleep well, and rest easy.

    Love always,

  3. Ken Kosko lit a candle:
    30 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 30, 2021 at 9:12:41 AM

  4. Karen Noblitt lit a candle:
    29 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 29, 2021 at 9:06:04 AM

  5. Tiffany says:
    23 Sep 2021
    I am thankful to have met you! Many conversations and laughs we shared during hours of respiratory therapy!! YOU MY DEAR WERE "MY SOLDIER" I HAVE NEVER ,as a therapist, seen one soul tough out ALS quite the way that you did! You not only were my loving patient who ALWAYS THOUGHT ABOUT HOW YOU COULD HELP ME IN MY DAILY! BUT YOU WERE A PATIENT WHO SUFFERED DAILY IN SO MUCH PAIN ALWAYS THINKING OF OTHERS! That is one thing I must say is that YOU were never selfish nor selfish. YOU always brought positivity into my day no matter how yours was going and no matter how many times I told you "thank you" It just never was enough yeah!!! I can still see your :) and I can still hear those words when you would say "Tiff it will be a better day tomorrow" You are an amazing woman and always will be and I know that you are in heaven without pain and suffering!!! I thank you for EVERYTHING CAROL! I LOVE YOU!

  6. Tiffany lit a candle:
    23 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 23, 2021 at 9:33:40 PM

  7. Terri Merrill lit a candle:
    22 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 22, 2021 at 9:35:23 PM

  8. Bill Shawn says:
    18 Sep 2021
    What amazing accomplishments Carol achieved during her many years of service to our Nation. I will always remember her grit, unbelievably positive attitude and strength during the past few years. I feel honored to have known her. Cheryl, you were a God sent Angel in your love and service to Carol. I always told Carol that Koda was the most beautiful dog that God ever created, with what appeared to be tears on his back reflecting his love and pain as he saw her struggle each day. She is now experiencing unbelievable joy each day in the presence of her Lord! William W. Shawn , LTC (Ret).

  9. William W. Shawn, LTC (Ret). says:
    17 Sep 2021
    What an outstanding life Carol lived !!! I feel honored to have known her these past 4 years, and will always remember her grit, positive attitude during her struggle to live, and her love for Koda. I always will remember what looked like tears on Koda's back, maybe reflecting his pain while serving Carol during those unbelievably difficult years. Thank you Lord for giving her such strength during her trials, and the Joy she is daily experiencing in your presence !!! Cheryl - you were a literal angel in your service to Carol. Thanks for sharing the details of Carol's life with us, it makes me proud to have known her here in The Villages. Fellow Veteran William W. Shawn, LTC (Ret). God bless both of you.

  10. Bill and Lynn Shawn lit a candle:
    17 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 17, 2021 at 9:35:27 PM

  11. Connie pappaceno lit a candle:
    17 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 17, 2021 at 9:30:32 PM

  12. Crystal Clifford says:
    17 Sep 2021
    She was a remarkable person. I loved her deeply and was proud to be her caregiver for the last 2 yrs. It was such an honor for her to choose Eric and I to take over as Koda’s parents. He truly is amazing and is a reminder that she is with us thru him. We really miss her terribly , but know that her battle with horrible disease is over and is singing and dancing in heaven watching over us all. We can’t wait to meet again. We love you Carol always and forever………Crystal & Eric &Koda

  13. Connie pappaceno lit a candle:
    17 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 17, 2021 at 9:17:11 PM

  14. Connie pappaceno lit a candle:
    17 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 17, 2021 at 9:16:48 PM

  15. Connie lit a candle:
    17 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 17, 2021 at 9:14:12 PM

  16. Cheryl Acampora says:
    17 Sep 2021
    You were my “sister”, my “therapist “ my friend forever. You showed us all what was important in life. I will miss you, always.

  17. Cheryl Acampora lit a candle:
    17 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 17, 2021 at 9:56:39 PM

  18. Brittany lit a candle:
    17 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 17, 2021 at 9:47:31 PM

  19. Cheryl Zuidema lit a candle:
    09 Sep 2021
    Lit since September 9, 2021 at 9:58:01 AM

  20. Cheryl Zuidema says:
    09 Sep 2021
    Your physical self is no longer here to satisfy that human touch, my heart ached to see your lifeless body. God was generous to ease your passing and I will always wonder at the mass of cardinals that greet me every day as to which one you are. Your strength was unyielding which is not surprising yet I can hear your gentle side still. We totally understood one another’s passion for life and your accomplishments were many. I just know you are one of Gods many soldiers with wings!

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