Doug Flora – A man of many Gifts
I know that many have a heavy heart regarding Doug’s passing…so do I. But, I also have a feeling of exultation and an uplifted spirit because I was privileged enough to know Doug.
I first became acquainted with Doug Flora when, as a parent, he supported his son and daughter in their Tae Kwon Do hobby. Doug and his wife Jane would regularly sit in the parent viewing area during class and watch their children with interest. It wasn’t long, however, until both Doug and his wife joined in and became martial arts devotees as well.
There are a lot of stories I could tell about Doug and his family and the connection that my family has to theirs. But, that would use many more lines than this memorial is intended to take. However, here are the high points. Aaron, Emily, Doug and Jane all earned their Black Belts. Emily was the very first babysitter my children had. Aaron, with his beautiful talent, was the campfire entertainment singing and playing guitar at a couple of our Summer Camps. Doug and Jane both achieved their 3rd Degree Blackbelts and together assumed the leadership of our Wentzville branch school. Not long after that they opened a second location in University City. Doing so they resuscitated many former students and past black belt alumni. Now, we once again have the good fortune to see many from years ago return to their training at the University City branch location. Doug has been our social director and branch emissary on many occasions, bringing well needed unity to our whole group. And, the reason he was so successful was because of his completely generous spirit and giving personality. For example, his alter-ego Chungdo Klaus (karate santa) would visit my school as well as all the branch schools bringing gifts and joy to all the students (children and adults). I think it would be safe to say that Doug and Jane were at almost every single Blue Wave event that we ever had. And, they would attend the social events at the other branches as well.
Often Doug would come into my office with pages of notes and suggestions that he had spent hours formulating. All towards the effort of improving our school and our outreach. I believe that Doug gave the invocation prayer at every single tournament he participated in. Everyone loved Doug because he was always giving and never judging. One thing Doug was not…quiet. Doug was a tremendous communicator who loved to share his ideas with everyone. And that was such a big part of his charm. I would, without hesitation, say that Doug was the consummate martial artist. Always ready to work to failure, always ready to improve, always ready for a challenge, always ready to help others…and never willing to give up.
I believe that right now Doug is asking God to come back because he isn’t quite done yet.
I love you Doug. You will always be in my heart and on my mind as I continue my martial arts journey. Please rest in peace.
As Doug would always end his texts or letters with…