Augusto “Gus” Arguinzoniz Flores, Jr. was born August 1, 1944 in Cayey, Puerto Rico. He was one of seven children (late) Carmelo, George, (late) Felicia, (late) Ester, Matilda and Ralph) born to (late) Augusto and (late) Julia Flores. Gus often spoke about how hisbirthplace allowed him to see life from two different centuries, where their quiet hillside Puerto Rico home did not have electricity and their water supply came from a natural stream at the bottom of the hill, to their eventual move to a very industrialized East Chicago, IN in 1951. Gus’s love for sports, specifically baseball and basketball, fueled him as a youth. After his High School basketball career came to an end, he enlisted in the United States Army. He served four years in the 3rd Infantry Division in Aschaffenburg, Germany from 1964-1968. Upon his return from Germany, he briefly worked at M&T Chemicals before starting his long, decorated career as a law enforcement officer in 1968. While working as a full-time police officer, he also earned his Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Calumet College of St. Joseph. Gus’s time as a law enforcement officer with the East Chicago Police Department, Lake County Drug Task Force, DEA, FBI, ISM Security and School City of East Chicago shaped his professional life and many of the personal relationships he built over the years. In 1986, he was named the first-ever, Puerto Rican born, Chief of Police in the mainland United States and served as Chief of the East Chicago Police Department until 1990. A position he would later take for a second time from 2009-2012. Gus served as Chief under three different Mayors, which was a testament to his complete dedication to his personal, police officer philosophy of, compassionate professionalism.
With all of the professional accomplishments and accolades over the years, Gus’s greatest work was done at home as a Husband, Father, Huelo, Uncle, Brother, Cousin, and Friend. He married (1972) the love of his life and is survived by his wife Roberta (Rada) (nee Grkinich) and three sons and ten grandchildren; Christian (Nikki – Cameron, Caleigh, Joshua, Julianna, Jeremiah), Steven (Gail – Alexis, Tara, Julia), Teddy (Sarah – Jacob). Kind, selfless, compassionate, honest, faithful, loving are just a few of the words that would be used to describe Gus. To merely know him and simply be in his presence offered a sense of love and security not many people are able to provide. His willingness to share his Faith and Love so openly with his family and friends will be his greatest legacy.
A member of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Schererville, IN and recent friend to New Harvest Church in Hammond, IN, his Faith was at the forefront of all he did. He spent his last years investing all he had into the Policeman’s Bible Ministry he and his wife started together in 2009. They are looking to provide a special policeman’s bible, a gift given to him by his son before starting his second tenure as Chief, to every local law enforcement officer in Northwest Indiana. With a long-term goal to eventually spread the ministry as far as possible across the United States. To date, they have provided a policeman’s Bible to every police officer across every Lake County, IN Police Department, besides two.
Gus went to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 14, 2020. He was surrounded in love by his wife and three sons telling them the same thing he said to them every single night before they went to bed or parted ways; goodnight, I rove you and God bless you.
Please note, a memorial service will be planned for a later date.
LINCOLN RIDGE FUNERAL HOME in charge of arrangements, (219) 322-6616.