Park Director loses his battle with coronavirus.
On Sept. 15, Danny Salazar, Park Director, passed away due to complications from the coronavirus. He was 46 and had more than 27 years of City service.
He is the fourth known City employee to have died from COVID-19.
AP Diaz, Executive Officer and Chief of Staff, Rec and Parks, sent the following email to all of RAP staff:
“Danny Salazar began his career 27 years ago with the Los Angeles Dept. of Recreation and Parks in 1993, where he was hired as a Recreation Aide at Humphrey RC. He went on to Cal State Northridge to get a BS degree in Recreation. His first full-time assignment was at Reseda RC, November 2005. Later he transferred to Lanark RC as a CLASS Parks Coordinator. Mr. Salazar became a Facility Director at Van Nuys RC in November of 2018. He worked at various facilities throughout his career, some include: Sun Valley, Reseda, Lanark, Humphrey, Stonehurst, Van Nuys. He served on the SFVCOG (San Fernando Coalition on Gangs) Salute to Recreation Committee and as a Recreation Coordinator for CLASS PARKS.
“While a CLASS coordinator at Lanark RC in 2006, Daniel worked tirelessly as he was able to register over 250 teens to the program. The impact he made on the Canoga Park community is felt to this day as many of the same kids are now RAP employees. When the Universal Play program was introduced, Daniel was sent to Van Nuys RC and given the responsibility to resurrect a program that was nonexistent. Danny as usual exceeded all expectations and created a soccer and volleyball program that served over 300 kids.
“Danny was a person who loved life, had a great sense of humor and was proud to be part of the RAP family. Danny met his then colleague, Iliana, while they both worked at CLASS Parks. Their first date was to Dodger Stadium and they were inseparable thereafter.
“Recreation was very important to Danny. Growing up in Pacoima, sports were not always offered at parks so he felt that if kids joined sports they wouldn’t join gangs. Danny was known for his ability to build programs, had solid community relations skills and loved Teen programs. He had a positive attitude and was a genuine team player.
“Unfortunately, Danny tested positive for COVID-19 on April 25, 2020. He passed away at 9:38 pm on Sept. 15, 2020, at the age of 48. He fought for six long months. He leaves his three boys, Danny, Liam and Nico, along with his loving wife, Iliana, and extended family and friends. His passing is a tremendous loss to our department and our City.”
The Club sends its condolences to Danny’s home and work family.
May he rest in peace.
Alive! thanks the following from Rec and Parks for their assistance in producing this article: Sophia Pina-Cortez, Assistant General Manager; Jimmy Kim; Sonya Young-Jimenez; Michelle Gross; Chinyere Stoneham; Juan Aynat; Mireya Coronado; Ramon Cerrillos; and Rose Watson; and Club Board Member Phil Orland.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
A Venmo fundraising account has been set up for Danny’s family under the name of his widow:
Iliana Ortega Salazar
Go to Venmo.com or the Venmo phone app
and search “Iliana Ortega Salazar”