Alfonso “Foncho” Salazar

On Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, Alfonso “Foncho” Salazar passed away after a three-month stay in the hospital following open heart surgery.

He was born July 12, 1929, in Tamazunchale, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and immigrated to the States in 1959. He brought his wife, daughter and two sons in 1961, and his youngest daughter was born nine months later. His family grew to include 12 grandchildren.

His first job was with Harry Davis at Joe’s Cafe. Harry was instrumental in sponsoring the family to become U.S. residents, and our family is forever grateful to him.

Alfonso went on to work for the Metropolitan Theaters at the Airport Drive-In and Cinema Theater. He took his family to the movies on a weekly basis as he had passes as an employee benefit.

He also worked for Laguna Blanca School for many years and loved helping the Spanish class.

He started a club, Club Amigos Latinos, in the 1970s to foster his love for the Latino culture and spend time with his Spanish-speaking friends.

He also loved to travel and especially enjoyed spending time in Puerto Vallarta and his home town in Mexico.

He was very hardworking and an excellent provider for his family. He taught all his children the value of hard work and excellence.

He fell in love with Elia Mendez, his wife of 63 years, when he first set eyes on her. She was a young teenager of 13 playing volleyball at school. He was a handsome 15-year-old mounted on his favorite horse.

He loved to laugh and dance. He loved sharing a good meal with family and friends. He had an amazing ability to whistle and to give a Mexican cry when inspired by Mariachi music! He will be greatly missed!

A Rosary will be held in his honor at the Welch-Ryce-Haider Santa Barbara Funeral Chapel from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5. Viewing will be on the same day. The funeral Mass will be at St. Rafael’s Church at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 6. Internment will follow at the Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

Arrangements entrusted to Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.