Durango resident Earl P. Archuletta died Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in Durango after a lengthy illness. He was 86.
Mr. Archuletta was born Jan. 4, 1926, in Moffat, the son of Mattias and Lucia Archuletta, and grew up on the family ranch.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II, and served overseas.
He was married to Rosebell Louise Sanchez for 65 years.
Because of his career as a road construction superintendent, the Archulettas lived in various places in Colorado and New Mexico. The family settled in Durango in 1979.
Mr. Archuletta worked in road construction until about 2002, but sheep ranching always was part of his life and second only to his family.
Mr. Archuletta was an active member of the Durango community. His family said he loved life and people with a passion. He had an exceptionally strong work ethic showing dedication and loyalty, they said. Mr. Archuletta also was said to be a great friend as well as a storyteller who would keep people laughing for days.
Mr. Archuletta found beauty in everything and everyone, his family said, and had a special connection with all animals. He also had a love of life, was kind and generous.
He is survived by his wife, Rosebell Louise Archuletta of Durango; daughters Judy Saiz of Denver and Jane Hoops and Joy Hess, both of Durango; son, James Archuletta of Durango; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sisters Ruth Rael of Questa, N.M., and Dora Atencio of Loveland; and brother Claude Archuletta of Longmont.
A Rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, at St. Columba Catholic Church, and a Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, also at St. Columba. The Rev. James Koenigsfeld will officiate, and burial will follow at Crestview Cemetery in Durango.