Longtime Lyle, Wash., resident Hermelinda “Hermi” Archuleta, 82, passed away at her home on June 11, 2013. She was born in El Capomo, Nayarit, Mexico, on Oct. 30, 1930.
Hermelinda attended the University of Guadalajara Autonoma, where she earned her nursing degree in 1955. She was part of a group of 13 RNs who were the first RNs sent by the Mexican government to Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; thus raising the standard of health care in Northern Mexico.
While on vacation in Puerto Vallarta, she met Ernie Archuleta, who was also vacationing there from Klickitat, Wash. They were married two years later in Mexico on Dec. 5, 1957.
She began her career in White Salmon, Wash., as a nurse in Dr. Wayne Henkle’s clinic, before embarking on her 44-year tenure at Skyline Hospital, where she worked as a registered nurse, and a lab tech, before earning her certification as a radiology technician.
Hermelinda was a kind, loving, generous and selfless soul, who above all cherished her family. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for her children or grandchildren. She loved cooking with the fresh vegetables she grew in her garden and would enthusiastically share her dishes and recipes with others.
She especially enjoyed being with young people and would often take the young nurses under her wing.
Hermelinda was always willing and available to lend a hand to a friend or a stranger. She was a tireless champion of those most in need, helping others brought her happiness. Her spirit of giving was elevated to a duty when it came to giving blood at the Red Cross blood drives. It was a proud day when she earned her Ten Gallon pin.
As a breast cancer survivor, she proudly wore her pink ribbons and participated in the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure for several years. When she could no longer walk the 5K, she nonetheless completed the race in a wheelchair. Such was her character.
Skyline Hospital recognized her many contributions by naming her Employee of the Year in 1987, and awarding her a Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service in 1993 — the same year she was the Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Service Honoree. In 2009 she received the Unsung Hero Award.
Hermelinda is survived by her children: Ernest Archuleta, of Tucson, Ariz., Walter Archuleta, of Duvall, Wash., and Gloria D. Archuleta, of San Francisco, Calif.; brother Sebastian Pulido, of Mexico; and four grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, and siblings Daniel, Jose Manuel and Dolores.
Hermelinda was a devout member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in White Salmon, where services will be held. A Rosary and visitation are set for 6-8 p.m. on Friday, June 21, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The Funeral Mass will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, at Laurelbrook, 1270 N. Main Ave., White Salmon, WA 98672, with a reception to follow. Visitation will be held at Gardner Funeral Home, in White Salmon on Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent in Hermelinda’s name to one of the following charities that were close to her heart: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the American Cancer Society or your local animal shelter.
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