On September 2, 2018, our community of Caldwell lost one of its most committed and caring citizens, Archie Stradley, Jr. He passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 2, 2018 just a week following his 90th birthday. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 11th at the Caldwell Elks Lodge with a reception to follow. A viewing will be held Monday evening, September 10th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Dakan Funeral Chapel, Caldwell. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com
Archie was born August 24, 1928 to Archie and Susie McCloud Stradley in Caldwell, Idaho. He was raised and educated in Caldwell graduating from Caldwell High School in 1946. Archie married Virginia Hall on June 8, 1948. They made their home in Caldwell and had two sons, Nick and Craig.
Archie joined the US Army on January 22, 1952 and proudly served his country until his Honorable Discharge on January 22, 1954. He came home to his young family and began working for Les Summers at Summers Office Supply.
Archie was a loyal and devoted employee to Les and after 44 years of working together they remained dear friends. After his “retirement” he went to work as an Ambassador and Funeral Assistant for Dakan Funeral Chapel, a position that he thoroughly enjoyed for the past 20 years; and in his spare time, Archie was renowned for repairing clocks.
To say that Archie was involved in his community of Caldwell is truly an understatement. He served on Caldwell Salvation Army board in 1973; was honored by The Idaho Statesman as a “Portrait of a Distinguished Citizen” in 1978; received the Community Involvement Award by Caldwell Mayor Al McCluskey in 1983; was presented the American Institute of Public Service Jefferson Award by Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus in 1991; was honored by Idaho State School & Hospital for “Devoted Service to Handicapped” in 1992; was awarded “Outstanding Volunteer” by Caldwell Chamber of Commerce in 1994; was honored as a “Distinguished Alumni of Caldwell High School” in 1994; was KTVB’s “Sevens Hero” in July of 2001; and was presented the Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award by Mayor Garrett Nancolas in January of 2006.
Archie joined the Caldwell Kiwanis Club in 1954 and held “Perfect Attendance” for over 62 years. He was named “Kiwanian of the Year” in 1974. He visited as many other clubs as he was able, sharing their fellowship with any Kiwanian that could join him for lunch and always bringing a joke or two.
Archie joined the Caldwell Elks Lodge in 1965 and received the Elk of the Year Award for 1968. He served as Treasurer for 51 years, was Chairman of Caldwell Elks Lodge Scout Troops for 44 years with 68 Eagle Scouts honored in the past 33 years. Archie was honored with Elks Grand Lodge Commendation Awards in 1996 and 1998, was awarded Caldwell Elks Lodge “Outstanding Member” in 1998, “Outstanding Citizen of the Year” in 2000, and the Grand Lodge “Distinguished Citizen Award” that same year. Archie was in charge of the Caldwell Elks Home Care Equipment Loan Program for 53 years, loaning wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, bath benches, etc. at NO CHARGE for it was “Elkdom at Work”. In 2006, he was presented a plaque for the “Wall of Honor” in the Lodge and was honored by Sage Community Resources with the “Dr. Roy Watson Award for Voluntary Service in Assistive Device Lending Program”.
Archie was patriotic to the core. He loved his country as much as his hometown of Caldwell and was Chairman of the Caldwell Elks Annual Veterans Day Ceremony held every year on November 11th 11:00 a.m.
But of all of Archie’s volunteering, the gift of service that he held most dear was being Caldwell’s Santa Claus. He began visiting family homes during the Christmas season 44 years ago and continued those same annual visits for multiple generations. Every fall he would get his Santa suit cleaned and prepare for his visits to over 50 homes, schools, and businesses to listen carefully to over 2000 children’s Christmas wishes during the month of December. The Caldwell Fire Department and Chamber of Commerce recently honored Archie for serving 30 years as their Santa Claus in the Annual Christmas Parade and Open House and he was also given the Men In Top Tier Award in 2014 on behalf of Advocates Against Family Violence as a Thank You for the difference he made in the lives of children in our community.
Archie was deeply honored by the acknowledgements that he received over the years, not because of the recognition, but because he believed in giving to his community. He was a man of integrity, honor, commitment, and kindness. He had a wonderful sense of humor and always had a few jokes to share. Archie also knew that the love and support of his wife Virginia, who passed away in 2008 just two months short of their 60th anniversary, helped make him the man that he was. They enjoyed raising their boys together, attending community events, dancing, playing cards, traveling, and spending time with their children, grandchildren, and many dear friends. To say that Archie will be missed, again is truly an understatement.
Archie is survived by his sons, Nick (Beverly) Stradley of KY and Craig (Linda) Stradley of Caldwell; 5 grandchildren, Joshua Stradley and Jennifer (Danny) Torres all of Caldwell, Abigail (Matt) Ewing and Melissa Stradley all of WA and Kimberly (Russell) Elliott of TX; 7 great-grandchildren; a sister, Bonnie (Gene) Storm of WA; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made in Archie’s honor to Caldwell Elks Home Care Equipment Loan Program, 1015 N Kimball Ave, Caldwell, ID 83605; or Caldwell Elks Scout Troop 276, 1015 N Kimball Ave, Caldwell, ID 83605; or Kiwanis Youth Foundation, PO Box 925, Caldwell, ID 83606.