Former PCC student and Courier editor-in-chief Daniel Archuleta died suddenly at his home in El Sereno last week. He was 38.
Archuleta was the editor-in-chief of the Courier in the early 1990s. He has been with the Santa Monica Daily Press since 2007 and was its current managing editor.
Former Courier adviser Mikki Bolliger remembers Archuleta as an editor on top of his game.
“Daniel was a top-notch editor, and he always wanted to make sure each edition was better than the last,” Bolliger said. “Words cannot express how sad I am after hearing that Daniel passed away. My heart is breaking because he is gone.”
The Daily Press ran a full front-page tribute to Archuleta and colleagues filled its columns with memories of their “jack-of-all-trades” friend.
“He edited with a meticulous eye for AP Style,” the Daily Press wrote. “He took photos, always favoring the wide, soulful shot. He’d ‘put the paper to bed’ while listening to funk or hip-hop or anything with a beat.”
“In the over-caffeinated news world he was cool under fire,” the paper added. “He smiled. He laughed loud and often. Everyone talks about his laugh.”
SMDP former editor-in-chief Kevin Herrera noted Archuleta’s love of family.
“He had a gift to make the problems seem small in comparison to what was really important. For him, that was his lovely wife and two beautiful young girls, whom he cherished more than anything,” Herrera said to the Daily Press. “No matter how busy we were, he always took the time to talk with his wife and his girls, encouraging them, listening to them as they talked about their days, the issues they were having at school.”
“He was a real man, putting family first and doing whatever he could to provide for them,” Herrera added.
Mike Jennings, Archuleta’s Courier colleague and one of his best friends, praised Archuleta’s leadership skills.
“Daniel was a journalist tried and true. He looked for a story in everything. He had a special knack for helping those just starting out in journalism to dig deep and embrace the trade,” Jennings said. “He was a leader that helped our entire class rise to a success that we never dreamed. He was a true mentor.”
Archuleta is survived by his wife Gayatri Rival and young daughters Lila and Gaby.
Services will be private and in keeping with Archuleta’s wishes he will be cremated and his cremates scattered at sea, but a public memorial will be held on Friday, August 1, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Douglas & Zook Funeral Home on 600 E. Foothill Blvd in Monrovia, according to Jennings.
Jennings has set up a memorial fund with FundRazr to help the Archuleta family.