When Adry Brudwick started with the district attorney’s office in Breckenridge 20 years ago, future DA Mark Hurlbert was an intern, her children were school aged and Summit County was a smaller community.
She’s seen three prosecutors, including Hurlbert himself, come and go and her kids grow up and start families of their own. Now, after two decades of long winters and the birth of her first grandchild, Brudwick and her husband, Bill, have decided to relocate to the Front Range to be closer to their kids.
“It just seemed like it was meant to be,” she said. “For Bill and I it is a very sad time as well as happy. We have had wonderful times up here. But we felt like this is really our new stage in life as grandparents. Will we miss Summit County? Absolutely.”
When the Brudwicks came to Summit County from Chicago in 1993, it was a return trip. They had lived in Colorado until the late 1970s, when their first son was born, and they moved to Chicago to be closer to family. But the shift from the city back to the mountains caused mixed reactions in their two young kids.
“We had a 15-year-old boy who thought he’d died and gone to heaven, and we had a 9-year-old boy who thought he’d never have another friend in the world if we moved out here,” Brudwick said.
She was hired on almost immediately with the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office under then-DA Peter Michaelson, handling finances and the budget for the Breckenridge post. She eventually took on a second role in human resources and was charged with overseeing the transition between administrations when DAs left office and new ones were voted in.
She remained on the periphery during good times and bad for the prosecutors she worked with, from the high-profile Kobe Bryant trial to a number of difficult homicide prosecutions. For her, the most chilling was the murder of a police officer in Georgetown several years ago.
“That was really the first big case that I saw,” she said. “That was traumatic. (The perpetrators) were about the same age as my older son and it was difficult to imagine what could have been going through their heads.”
Over the years, Brudwick became a mother figure in Breckenridge, an advocate for her coworkers and keeper of the family-like feeling among her team. She organized annual softball games and bowling parties, kept a sewing machine under her desk to patch up coworkers’ clothes and made her office the heart of the building, where colleagues could find a jar of candy, file cabinets covered in comics and a friendly face.
“She was the matriarch,” said Hurlbert, who worked with Brudwick for 18 years. “She was really the glue that held that office together.”
In 2008, she was recognized with the Summit County Rotary Club’s Professional Excellence Award for her ability to maintain and uplift her office.
With the end of his term of office in January, Hurlbert took a job as an assistant prosecutor in the much-larger 18th Judicial District, where he helped Brudwick find a job closer to her family. She put in her notice in the 5th Judicial District in early April and finished work in Summit County last week.
“Adry’s presence will be sorely missed across the district, where her warm, welcoming presence was so key for new employees joining the office,” DA Bruce Brown stated in a release on Brudwick’s departure. “Her professional, fun and caring personality contributed so much to the positive experience that many DA employees have had throughout her years as the financial admin.”
The office held a farewell dinner for Brudwick on April 25, her last day of work.