Maria’s life adventures began in 1920s Italy on July 22, 1928. Giulio and Rosa Mosca raised Maria and her two older siblings, Iole and Gualtiero, near the Pantheon and on a houseboat on the Tiber. It was a humble but happy childhood.
The family survived World War II with only the loss of their father. Her adventures continued in the post-war years. Her sister, Iole, inspired her to trek to Turkey and all across the Middle East with her husband’s band. Maria lived in Beirut, Baghdad, Cyprus, and Turkey
One night she accepted a fateful dance request from an American sergeant in Ankara, Turkey. Cleto J. Archuleta wooed her and, despite language and cultural differences, the couple married within the year, on April 8, 1957.
The newlyweds began their military life together in Ankara. However, eventually, Cleto’s duties took him to wartime Asia, so he sent his bride to his home in the Wild West -- Moffat, Colorado. The San Luis Valley was an alien land for the European bride, but she welcomed the adventure with open arms, aided by the warm embrace of her new American family.
Military assignments made the young family move house every couple of years. With each reassignment, Maria made a warm and loving home for her husband and two children. The Archuletas spent years abroad and across the United States, eventually returning to Colorado, her new beloved home.
Their two older children got the adventures of a young military family. However, the family eventually settled in Canon City. In Lincoln Park, they raised their youngest daughter. Maria immersed herself in rural living, learning to garden, can, and raise livestock.
In 1995, Maria found herself a widow. A survivor, she wiped her tears of loss and moved forward. She settled in her little pink house, her first solo home that she nonetheless cultivated with the same love and passion of all her previous homes.
Maria kept herself busy in her new life. She and her friends donated their time and homemaking expertise to Loaves and Fishes and Manna House. Maria turned her love of sewing into a new hobby of quilting, creating beautiful fabric art that she displayed at the Royal Gorge Quilt Council shows. Eventually, she shared her wares at the local Farmer’s Market.
Maria spent her golden years with her grown children and her friends. In addition to quilting, she enjoyed shopping with her daughters and lunching with her friends. It was a less adventurous life than that spent in her youth, but one she cherished.
Maria passed peacefully at home with her daughters in attendance. She is preceded in death by her son, Manuel, and husband, Cleto. Such a long life saw an entire generation of siblings, in-laws, and friends pass, all who are undoubtedly waiting for her in heaven.
Missing her here are her daughters, Anna Paulino and Nadia Archuleta, and son-in-law, Jerry Paulino.
Mass of Christian Burial, 10:30 a.m. Thursday, February 18, 2021, St. Michael Catholic Church in Canon City, Reverend Jesse Perez as Celebrant. Interment to follow at Fairview Cemetery in Salida.
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