If you were not fortunate enough to know the incredible spirit and energy of Davis Flohr, you might drive or walk by the former Clemson Avenue Park and wonder why it was recently renamed Davis Flohr Neighborhood Park in his honor.
Davis Flohr was a lifelong NoDa resident and the son of Christian and Sarah Flohr and Heather and Gary Pigg. While Davis was small in stature, he had the heart of a giant and the charisma to match. As an infant Davis was diagnosed with numerous medical issues that resulted in more than 30 surgeries and multiple hospitalizations. He faced these challenges with incredible courage and strength, and Davis was never defined by the medical struggles he endured.
In the spring of 2019 Davis passed from this world to the next at the age of 13. This was a devastating loss for Davis’ family, friends, and the entire NoDa community. The magnitude of his character touched not only his peers and younger children but people of all ages and backgrounds. Due to his infectious optimism Davis was commonly referred to as “The Mayor of NoDa.” He embodied so many things that we love about NoDa — unique, accepting, kind, and fun. It only seemed fitting that he should be honored by renaming one of the most vibrant corners of our neighborhood.
Davis could be found at the park most afternoons running, playing, and laughing with his friends. While gathering support for the park renaming, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who shared stories of how Davis impacted their lives. One friend told me that her son would only enter his elementary school if Davis opened their car door at the carpool line while he was working on the school safety patrol. Another mother who took care of Davis as a young toddler at the Johnston YMCA shared the story of how she named her son after Davis because she was so inspired by his story of survival and his positive personality and charm. There were countless stories of neighbors who were impacted by Davis and his ability to weave our community together through his larger-than-life persona.
So if you are at the park with friends and you’re asked about the new park name, please share with them that Davis Flohr was an amazing boy who loved Panthers football, playing soccer, listening to good music, and making friends. The updated park name should serve as a reminder to all of us to live our lives like Davis, with fearless energy and unbridled kindness towards other people.
Personally, every time I walk by his newly dedicated park and hear children laughing and playing, I can picture Davis’ sweet smile in my mind…and it certainly makes my day a lot brighter.