Mario Salazar

Mario Maldonado Salazar ‘Ding’, 76, of Iowa City, passed away on Monday, March 21, 2022, at his home.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 24, 2022, at the Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home. Reverend Matthea Haecker will officiate. Memorials may be made to the family in Mario’s honor. Online condolences may be made at

Mario was born August 18, 1945, in Del Rio, Texas, the son of Jesus and Petra Maldonado Salazar.  He married Sue Lamorux in 1967 and they later divorced.  In 1990, Mario was united with Ruth Barnhart until she passed in 2018.

Mario worked construction for the labor union.  He enjoyed nature, gambling, grilling and cookouts with his family, traveling, and his cats, Phoebe I and II.

Mario is survived by his three children, Lisa Burr and her husband, Steve, of Muscatine, James Salazar and his wife, Ashlie, of Glenwood, Iowa, and Melody Mara and her fiancé, Mike Kerker, of Cedar Rapids; six grandchildren, Morgan Janney, Richard Janney, Cheyenne Burr, Shayna Burr, Ryder Salazar, Breanna Mara; four great grandchildren, Danica, Wesley, Journie, and Gavin; four siblings, Bertha Berton and her husband, Eddie, Rueben Salazar and his wife, Ana, Robert Salazar and his wife, Cecilia, and Ramiro Salazar all of Texas; his beloved cat, Pheobe II; many nieces and nephews; and special friend, Jane Thompson of Muscatine.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his partner, Ruth Barnhart; and seven siblings.