1930 ~ 2019
On January 25, 2019 Robert "Archie" Archuleta, (humble civil warrior, poet, gentle grandpa, adoring husband and father), laid down his sword. Archie died of a series of complications from an acute illness and surgery. He was 88 years old.
Archie was born July 22, 1930 near Grand Junction, Colorado. His family were farm workers, and he grew up picking sugar beets, lettuce and other produce before he and his family settled in Pocatello, Idaho in the 1940's. Archie excelled in school and was the first member of his family to attend college. He received a bachelor's degree in education from Idaho State University, and made his way to SLC in 1953 to teach elementary school. He eventually met his wife Lois and settled in Utah to raise his family.
His public persona was bigger than life and filled his days. But the private Archie was a sly, funny, generous man with a piece of wood in one hand and a pocket knife in the other. Our homes are filled with his whittled creations. He spent hours organizing his political buttons, of which he had hundreds, seeing them as proof of our collective and individual voices. He loved working in the garden and and feeding the birds. It did not matter that the squirrels ate half the food. He loved the cycle of life and survival. He treasured pan dulce and a good root beer float and enjoyed watching old movies with his sweetheart. He loved history and read voraciously. Lessons from the past proved to him that change is possible and voices can be heard.
Archie lived to serve the SLC community he called home. He was a shining beacon of hope, demonstrating through his tireless example that we can rise above our differences and create a world bright with justice for all. He was an example of tolerance and non-violence all his life. Archie's accomplishments are many, and in them he demonstrated a great love of justice and fairness for all members of society, especially the disenfranchised. He felt that through education, change was possible and he created and supported many educational programs.
Archie was tireless in his quest for justice. His greatest attribute was his faith and belief that all his efforts made a difference, that each person's voice matters. "Speaking up" is the manifestation of that commitment. "Truth needs witnesses" was his mantra. He truly believed we are all witnesses and creators of justice and the peace that can come from that. He believed this to the end of his life, without fear, without cynicism and with infinite hope. This is his greatest gift to us.
Archie leaves behind his beautiful wife of over 60 years, Lois, five children Letitia (David), Micaela, Keith (Louise), Lucienne, Jason (Brett) and six amazing grandchildren, John (Cheryl), Stevie, Mariah (Kirk), Jack (Meg), Emma and Serena. He leaves dozens of nieces and nephews throughout the West.
Archie chose how he lived and fittingly he also chose how he died. He did not want a traditional funeral. We will celebrate his extraordinary life with a memorial service on Saturday March 2. More details will be published regarding the time and place.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the Archie and Lois Archuleta Chicano Scholarship Fund at the University of Utah, or Crossroads Urban Center.
See Larkin Mortuary link additional photos and articles.
Published in The Salt Lake Tribune from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3, 2019.