On Sep 23, 2020, our patriarch, Michael Archambault, aged 68, died tranquilly at home in the presence of God and in the everlasting company of family and friends.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents, Roland (Archie) and Precille Archambault; his siblings, Marie, Steve, and Robert (Bob); and grandson, Garrett. He is survived by his loving wife, Charla; daughter and son-law, Michelle and Viet Do; son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Ilene Archambault; daughter, Debra Polly, son, Nick Fuerst; grandchildren, Aiden, Brooklyn, Avery, Madison, McCahey, JoyMarie, and Sullivan; his siblings, Joan Archambault and Diane Kurtz, brothers-in-law, Ken Kurtz, Mik Milem, and Marty Evans; and sisters-in-law, Teri Milem and Sandy Evans.
Born on Dec 4, 1951 in Rhode Island, Michael grew up in Columbus, Ohio. It was there where Michael became mesmerized and fell in love with his future wife, Charla, in their hometown. There they wedded on Jan. 4, 1975, traversed across the country, and planted roots in an unassuming small town of Fountain Hills in 1976. Other than the love of his family, Michael’s affection for Fountain Hills was second to none. Deeply devoted in the growth of Fountain Hills, Michael was a Town Council member, chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission, integral in the construction of the Veterans Memorial, remodeling of the community theater, and a plethora of lasting projects. Due to his vast civic involvements, Michael was awarded as a member of the River of Time Hall of Fame in 2018.
Scouting was near and dear to Michael’s heart. As previous Scoutmaster of Troop 343, Michael molded the lives of many young men and several went on to serve this great Nation in the U.S. military and as first responders, among other wonderful accomplishments. Service to his family, his community, his country and to his God was paramount.
As a long-time member of the Catholic faith, Michael spent decades as a parishioner of the Catholic Church of the Ascension. Michael also sponsored his grandson, Aiden, for his First Communion.
In the infancy of his working career Michael was a contractor, constructing homes and businesses in the Fountain Hills area as an employee of his father, Archie, and his business, Archie Construction. Guided by an entrepreneurial spirit, Michael purchased land and constructed an industrial development on Laser Drive. Not one to idle, he began the art of woodwork at home, initially building toys for his children. Eventually, his craft in woodworking parlayed into the development of his own business, Wood Whims, which built and installed custom cabinetry. For many years, this business flourished until the Great Recession, devastating his company and leading to the shuttering of his doors in 2010. But Michael did not stay down for long and opened a handyman business, Handyman Now, that allowed him to remain busy until his retirement.
A love of hiking, exploring the Arizona wilderness, hunting and cars are a small sample of Michael’s numerous hobbies. Michael scoured the Four Peaks and McDowell Mountains for interesting artifacts and Native American remnants. As an avid hunter, Michael took his son and son-in-law on hunting trips up north looking to bring home elk or deer for the family to devour, and his yearly turkey hunts for Thanksgiving dinner ensured a festive meal. His captivating hunting stories, including ones with his own father, left an indelible mark on his listeners. However, his greatest hobby was purchasing older cars, maybe abandoned or unkept, rebuilding them to their former glory and reselling them to an enthusiast who would cherish these quietly hidden gems, a look into the soul of Americana.
His greatest love, his family, was his purpose each day. Married for 45 years, Charla took on the role as best friend, confidant, travel partner, partner-in-crime and an accomplice to many misadventures. Their relationship defined their lives with each other and set in motion the humble example for their children. Michelle, his daughter and eldest, and Eric, his son, were both born and cultivated in the womb of Fountain Hills. Eric and his wife, Ilene, have a daughter and remain citizens of Fountain Hills, a testament to the love Michael instilled into his children about this town. Michelle married Viet. They have three children of their own and remain in the Phoenix area. His other “adopted” daughter, Debbie, who married Nick Fuerst, came to know the family as an employee initially and is now an integral member of the clan and has three children that Michael and Charla consider their own grandkids.
Michael Archambault had a certain composure: kind, caring and inviting, yet not trivial or juvenile. He had an upright dignity, but not formal. Always one to strike up a conversation with a nearby person, he was the type of human everyone knew and could hardly speak ill of. To know Michael was to know the type of humanity we desire in all.
“Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away,” aptly describes Michael. He is missed and will not be forgotten.
Visitation will be held at Messinger Fountain Hills Mortuary on Thursday, Oct. 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. with funeral services on Friday, Oct. 2, at Community Church of the Verdes at 10 a.m.