Our co-worker and friend Cliff Hersted passed away peacefully this morning. We mourn his passing and we celebrate his life full of accomplishments.

Cliff was the son of John Hersted and Clara Claussen and graduated with the following degrees:

BA in Anthropology 1981 California State University,  Sacramento
MA in International Affairs 1989, California State University, Sacramento

Chinese-Mandarin Certificate, The Defense Language Institute, 1983

Cliff came to Arcosanti in September 1992 after an adventurous life as an Intelligence Operations Specialist in the US Marine Corps, and 10 years as an Army Reserve Officer. He worked for the IRS and later, here at Arcosanti, helped many people with their taxes. He also had especially fond memories of owning a bookstore for many years.

Here at Arcosanti he managed the visitors center for many years. He worked in the bronze foundry and was responsible for Paolo Soleri’s Special Assembly production here at Arcosanti. He also taught silt-cast and cement-cast panel workshops to visiting groups. For some years he was Arcosanti’s liason to the Arizona Office of Tourism.

photo: Cliff is teaching intern Chieko Shimizo the art of assembling and casting Paolo Soleri’s hand-carved styrofoam links in June 2005.

Here are Mary Hoadley, Bruce Colbert and Cliff Hersted while cleaning up the Spring Vally area for the Upper Agua Fria Watershed Partnership in 2006.

Cliff was a sculptor, he mostly worked in stone and metal. Here is some of his work in the Resident Artshow in February 2011.

Cliff and Paolo Soleri in November 2011.

Cliff was an instrumental force in establishing the Cordes Lakes Visitors Center, as well as an integral part of the ‘High Desert Heritage Museum’ and the ‘Friends of Agua Fria’ association, see this link.

He was active in the Highway 69 Chamber of Commerce and in the Upper Agua Fria Watershed Partnership.

He was also an avid hiker and researched, photographed, and logged petroglyphs and native ruins in our area.

And he gave archeological tours to view the petroglyphs and ruins, as well as tours to see birds and wildlife in our area.

Here is Cliff speaking at the 2016 CORDES AREA HERITAGE FESTIVAL on October 15. 2016.

The “Desert Viking”, a quiet force behind the scenes, but he certainly made things happen with persistance and determination. He will be missed.

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