Julio Cayetano Archuleta, 89, of Mancos, CO passed away on March 15, 2021 in Cortez, CO surrounded by loved ones. He was born in Lobatos, CO in an old adobe house on April 6, 1931 to Jose Guadalupe Archuleta and Apollonia (Jiron) Archuleta.
Julio eventually moved to Antonito, CO. In 1957, he married Annabelle in Conejos, County CO. They were married until she passed away in 2018.
As a young child, Julio herded sheep with his father in the upper Conejos river basin (Platoro Reservoir area) of the southern San Juan Mountains. These were some of his fondest memories and lead to his love of the outdoors. He often joked about using the "sheepherder’s manual" to guide his camping, fishing, hunting and other outdoor adventures. He attended Antonito High School, where he was active in sports and other activities, often traveling three miles on foot or horseback to participate. He graduated high school in 1950. After high school, he worked for the Bureau of Reclamation on the Platoro Reservoir construction project maintaining roads. When that project was "snowed out," he moved to Denver, where his brother Leonel lived, and worked three years as an apprentice printer for a paper company. He was then drafted and served in the Navy during the Korean War from 1952 to 1956, then two years in the Naval Reserves. After the Navy, he worked for a lumber company in Arkansas, and then moved back to the San Luis Valley where he worked for a car dealership in Alamosa, CO while attending Adams State University.
Julio graduated from Adams State University in 1959 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Education and Economics. In September 1959, he moved with Annabelle and two young sons (Ken and Ron) to Mancos, CO. His third son, Mark, was born two years later in Cortez. It was in Mancos that he began his career in education. For over five years, he taught Typing, Shorthand, Bookkeeping, Spanish, Economics and Business Law at Mancos High School. Julio was the first Hispanic to work in the Mancos School District. In 1962, he earned a Master’s degree in Administration and Secondary Education from Adams State University by attending summer school. Later, he completed post-graduate work at Western Colorado University (Gunnison) and Colorado State University (Fort Collins). He was Principal in Mancos for a brief period, and then became Superintendent of the Mancos School District at the age of 35. He was Superintendent until he retired in 1991. When he retired, he was the longest servicing tenured Superintendent in Colorado. He was recognized by the Colorado Department of Education on numerous occasions and in 1983 was selected as the Colorado Outstanding Rural Superintendent. In addition to work as a superintendent, Julio was involved in many other local and State-level education programs including, the Southwest Board of Cooperative Services, Head Start Director, Title IV State Advisory Council, Western States Small Schools Project, Colorado High School Activities Association, San Juan "A" League Athletic Association, and Ford Foundation Leadership Development Program. In addition, Julio was on the Advisory Committee that was instrumental in founding the San Juan Basin Area Vo-Tech School.
Julio's love for education was centered on the students he served. From the day he moved to Mancos, he became an advocate for his students. He reached out and counseled many young people, always willing to listen, give advice, and provide a helping hand. One of his goals was to see students be successful after high school by considering vocational school or college. He encouraged young people to push beyond what was comfortable. In his later years as an educator, it was not uncommon for Julio to receive a telephone call or visit from a former student telling him how his support and encouragement made a difference in their lives. He would respond by telling them how much they made a difference in his.
Though Julio had many opportunities for administrative positions in schools along the Colorado front range, he chose to stay in Mancos for his family and because he cherished the people and places of the Mancos Valley. When answering phone calls he would often proudly reply, “Hello this is Julio from the beautiful Mancos Valley . . . “He was active in the Mancos community participating in many local organizations including, twenty-seven years as Director and Board of Directors Officer for the Mancos Fire Protection District, ten years on the Mancos Valley Bank Board of Directors. In 1989, the Mancos Valley Association named Julio "Citizen of the Year." He was an active member of the Saint Rita's Catholic Church. He lived in Mancos for 62 years of his life.
He and Annabelle spent much of his early retirement traveling abroad, including trips to China, Portugal, Spain, and France. He loved spending time with his three sons, his daughters-in-law, his five grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Much of his time was spent traveling to visit family who lived across the country. He was an active outdoorsman who enjoyed camping, hunting and fishing. October was his favorite time of the year, when he would hunt the mountains above Mancos with family and friends. He became a member of the Bauer Lake Club in 1970, and spent many weekends and evenings fishing with his family and friends. He was never at a loss for telling a good hunting or fishing story.
Surviving Julio are his three sons, Ken Archuleta (Belinda Archuleta) Ron Archuleta (Elizabeth Crowe) and Mark Archuleta (Jodi Archuleta); five grandchildren, Michelle Renaud (Ken), Matthew Archuleta (Ken), Carli Archuleta (Mark), Perry Archuleta (Ron) and Sidney Archuleta (Mark); and three great grand Children, Evalyn Archuleta (Matthew), Lillian Renaud (Michelle) and Shelby Hale (Matthew). Julio was preceded in death by his father, Jose Guadalupe; his mother, Apollonia; his brother, Leonel; and his wife, Annabelle.
Memorial services for Julio will take place at Los Cerritos Cemetery in Manassa, CO this fall. The family is planning a Celebration of Life in Mancos this summer or fall.