Cover photo for Alfonso A. Salas's Obituary
Alfonso A. Salas Profile Photo
1921 Alfonso 2020

Alfonso A. Salas

April 3, 1921 — January 15, 2020

Good morning,

Thank you for joining our family today to celebrate and mourn the passing of Dad. My name is Teri Hamilton, I am one of Als children and I would like to share with you some of Dads, Ponchos, Uncle Als, Al Salas and Papas life with you.

Alfonso Alexander Salas was born in Los Angeles, California on April 3rd, 1921 into the arms of Joseph and Rosa Salas. He had 3 siblings, Joe, Alice & Lucinda. All of which preceded him in passing. Dad was a proud father, grandfather and great grandfather. He leaves behind 3 children, Tom, Annette and myself. 6 grandchildren, Shelley, Stephen, Erin, Damon, David, Natalie and 10 great grandchildren. Noah, Collins, Kinley, Remy, Hendrix, Easton, Marley, Dawson, 1 to arrive very soon and 2 preceded in death, Grayson & Tacy.

Dad had many life experiences such as living through the Great Depression and serving in the United States Navy during WWII. He married mom, Marion McGinnis on Memorial Day, 1943 and was a loyal and loving husband his entire life. The experiences and life lessons he learned along the 98 years of life laid the foundations of the family legacy that is here today.

Tom remembers stories of Dad keeping extra screws and nails from house projects and finding them rusted decades later and even plastic bags from the Whittier Daily News of which he would load up with fruit from his trees to share with neighbors illustrated that he was the first environmentalist of his time.

Annette recalls the countless Sunday drives to his childhood home in Boyle Heights with a stop at Phillipes for a French dip sandwich and a cold beer. He loved In and Out, burgers, fries and a root beer. Of all family places to eat Dad enjoyed Canton City the most. For 50 years he made regular trips with family and friends where he indulged in his favorite dishs chop suey and egg fu-yong. I remember the times when I learned to dance and Dad put me on his feet, and we would dance around the house for hours.

Dad was an avid sport fan following the Angles, Clippers, Denver Broncos and his favorite of all the UCLA Bruins. As a fan Dad would always enjoy a good championship boxing match. One memory shared was a time when Art Aragon, a local favorite was on television. Dad, having one of the few TVs in the neighborhood took his 10 tv in a five-foot-long console, placed it up to the window so all the neighbors could watch it while sitting on the front lawn. These are some examples of Dads passions of which most times a cold beer would accompany him in his right hand.

That being said, Dads passions were only possible because of his strong work ethic. Dad was a dedicated pressman at Dennison Eastman Tag and Label Co. for 40 years. He always made sure family was provided for. That meant he often held two jobs such as a mailman, gardener, custodian and other positions.

Dad was an entrepreneur; he told a particular story of being the store keeper on the USS Cain where he ran an underground poker game and trade barter system. His profits enabled him to purchase his first home of 7,000 dollars once he returned home from the service.

As a husband, he was a romantic on the dance floor. He and Granny would attend monthly dinner dances at the American Legion in Montebello Post 272. He made sure to let you know that he danced at the Hollywood Palladium and saw some of the great swing bands of all time such as Glen Miller, Ben Goodman and Artie Shaw. Yet that was not his most proud moment of entertainment. He recalled seeing Frank Sinatra, his favorite of them all in the early beginnings of his career. Anytime you had the chance to play My Way for him you could see the glow in his eyes as he reflected on moments with Mom. We had the pleasure to witness this at Spencer and Natalies wedding when he sang along with Frank Sinatra, and there is video to prove it.

He loved and admired the energy of his grandchildren. He would take Mom to every sporting event that they could attend such as soccer games, water polo matches, baseball, softball, and basketball games. He was their #1 fan.

Most times when all the grandchildren were together, he and Mom would take them out for a night of mini-golf and ice cream. He loved putting cash in cards, specifically $2 bills or even the amount of the age that we turned. It was such a fond memory that when he turned 90 his oldest grandchild Shelley placed 90 one-dollar bills in his birthday card. Together they counted out all 90 one-dollar bills as we all watched, laughed and cried.

As he aged, he would delight in the birth of new great grandchild after great grandchild and reminisce in the wonder of their everlasting energy. Last March on Saint Patricks Day, was one for the ages. All of his grandchildren and great grandchildren were present and able to spend moments with their Papa.

If you were able to visit Dad in his room at Brookdale, you would have seen the wall filled with pictures of his friends and family whom he treasured.

Up to his last days he was a fervent card player. Poker and blackjack were his best. The Dominguez could testify to that whom he loved like brothers. On many occasions I am sure they could recall his ability to take the pot.

Speaking of age and energy. All those that met him could not believe how healthy he was for his age. People would always ask him,
How do you do it Al?

His response was classic Al. Well I go to the doctor all the time and he always says, looking good Al.
To that he would say, then why do I have to come see you all the time.? The doctor would reply, I gotta make a living too, Al.
He would also say the doctor would tell him to keep taking his vitamins, and to take them however you like to, pill, liquid, I dont care.
So, he would go to the store and buy Vitamin B (Budweiser) and Vitamin C (Corona).

The stories are countless, endless as a matter of fact. It is a bittersweet time when we have to say goodbye. So today, as you toast your vitamins to Dad, we thank you for being here to celebrate his life with us. We can rest and know that Dad is finally dancing in heaven with his sweetheart again. We love you Dad.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alfonso A. Salas, please visit our flower store.

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