Our great friend and colleague, Robert “Archie” Archuleta, died on Friday, January 25 at age 88.
Archie was a member of the Joe Hill Organizing Committee as we planned celebrations of Joe Hill for the 75th anniversary of Joe Hill’s death in 1990 and for the 100th anniversary in 2015.
Joe Hill House: school for young radicals
Archie was one of the young people who spent time in the 1960s with Ammon Hennacy, whose Joe Hill House of Hospitality in Salt Lake City served a population of homeless men so often ignored. The Joe Hill House also became a school for young radicals. Many young people—Archie Archuleta, Utah Phillips, and Gibbs Smith among them—found a fierce, firm radicalism in the ideas and actions of Ammon Hennacy.
Ammon Hennacy found Joe Hill an inspiration. Many people found Ammon Hennacy an inspiration, and many of them found their own way to spread social justice in the world. Archie Archuleta was one of those people. One of the ways Archie learned as a young man to be the quiet, sure activist he was had roots in the Joe Hill House.
Archie influenced so many
Over the past few days, we have seen an outpouring of personal experiences from people whom Archie nudged to take action in the world for social justice. He was an educator who loved working with young people. He was President of Utah Coalition for La Raza and served on many boards and commissions. Outside of institutional work, Archie gave generously of his time to those ready to make change in the world, especially young people. Many of the young people Archie has influenced already pass on that dedication to activism and action in their own work.
Archie Archuleta was an influential hub in social justice work in Salt Lake City. He joined the flow that came before him and will continue after him. He made it better. By observing the ways Archie embodied radicalism in the world, we all learned to be more fierce and more kind.