Salt Lake City community activist Archie Archuleta dies; city pays tribute

Archie Archuleta and his wife, Lois, were honored by Salt Lake City at an October 2018 ceremony. Photo: Screenshot of ceremony video

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 26, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City community activist Archie Archuleta has died.

Archuleta, 88, passed away Friday, a statement from Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s office says.

“Our entire office is mourning the loss of our friend and Salt Lake City activist Archie Archuleta,” Biskupski said in the prepared statement. “Archie was a mentor to me and many others on my staff.”

Archuleta was appointed as the administrative assistant for minority and community affairs by Mayor Rocky Anderson in 2000.

Three months ago, BiskupskiĀ presented Archuleta with the Key to the City “for his decades-long work on behalf of those experiencing homelessness, Chicanos and other communities of color, LGBTQ people, and women,” the Saturday statement says.

“Wherever Archie went his smile would light up a room and behind that smile, was the mind and soul of a fierce advocate for equality. Archie was an early supporter of mine and the entire LGBTQ community in Utah, helping to bridge the gap between civil rights movements in Salt Lake City.

“Through his example and work, Archie gave voice to marginalized people, reminded those in power of their responsibility to build inclusive communities, and encouraged others to stand-up and act.”

Biskupski said she would “miss his smile, his hugs, and his quiet words of encouragement which brought me comfort and strength. Our thoughts are with his wife and children as they mourn the loss of their husband and father.”

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Deputy Chief of Staff David Litvack remembered Archuleta with these words:

“Archie was the epitome of a mensch ā€” a good person, a person of integrity. He led by example; he taught many of us what it means to be a fierce advocate for justice, fairness and equality. Most importantly, he showed me how to be a warrior for justice by building bridges and lifting people up — not tearing anyone down. He will be sorely missed.”

Director of Community Empowerment Jennifer Seelig said the following:

“Archie taught me that my authentic Rose Park self was, and remains, my most powerful source of strength in my role as a warrior for SLC’s westside. When you’re in public office people often wish for you to exist in their own image. Archie reminded me that who I am is who I am meant to be, even when my Wonder Woman cape has a bit of leftover breakfast cereal on it.”

To see video of the October Key to the City ceremony — at which the community activist and wife Lois Archuleta also was honored — click on the player below.

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