“A Wonderful Life” in Elizabeth City

Meet the Madrins

Following busy careers that kept them working long hours and on the go, Beverly and Buddy Madrin relocated from Raleigh to Elizabeth City 13 years ago to retire. Theirs hasn’t been a golf-in-the-morning and cocktails-at-sunset kind of retirement, however. Between their volunteer commitments and extracurricular interests, the vivacious couple continues to keep a busy schedule.

The Madrins met in Raleigh when Buddy was a senior at N.C. State University and Beverly a junior at East Carolina University. A mutual friend brought them together when Beverly was visiting friends in Raleigh and needed a ride to the bus station. Buddy said yes. Beverly said why not? And they married two years later.

“I knew a good thing when I saw him, and he did too,” said Beverly.

From there, they spent the next 25+ years living and working in Fayetteville, Charlotte, Matthews, Greenville and finally Raleigh, nurturing their professions and raising their daughter, Amber. Buddy enjoyed a long career in the food industry before opening a successful home renovation and remodeling company in the capital city. Beverly worked in education, as a teacher, administrator, consultant and in textbook publishing for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, and later Houghton Mifflin and other educational publishing companies.

“I was boarding a plane every Monday,” said Beverly. “If I wasn’t going to one of the states in my publishing territory, I was going somewhere else to do a presentation. It was constant.”

Throughout the years, Elizabeth City beckoned. Buddy grew up in the “Harbor of Hospitality” and still had family and friends in the area, and they owned river-front property, an investment they’d made years ago.

“The idea of relocating to the area became more and more attractive to us,” said Beverly. “We were so deep in our careers that we didn’t have much down time or play time. And when you have that much time vested in your job, you don’t really have the circle of friends you’d like, or the commitment to the community.”

In 2003, they were ready for a change. The Madrins left their jobs, said good-bye to Raleigh and moved into their newly built home in the Elizabeth City’s Brickhouse Point neighborhood on the Pasquotank River. Immediately, they put their collective energy into community service.

They joined Christ Episcopal Church and became involved with parish outreach activities. Beverly helped kick-start the promotion of the Designer House series, a showcase for the region’s interior and landscape designers and a successful Arts of the Albemarle fundraiser for three years. Buddy put his contracting skills to good use, building sets for The Center Players young theater group and display units for Port Discover Hands-on Science Center. And, throughout the years, they both served on a number of boards, mostly for nonprofit groups.

“My Mom always told me, when you get old enough and see things that need to be done, you just do them and nobody needs to know,” said Buddy.

Beverly also took time to re-engage a part-time career she began in Raleigh. In Elizabeth City, she worked as a team-building consultant for businesses and universities in the area, and she held professional image seminars and speaking engagements as an active member of the National Speakers Association. She was among the “Women of Excellence” in 2012, named by the Elizabeth City Area Chamber of Commerce.

These days, when the active couple is ready to relax, they enjoy the “Music on the Green,” summer film festivals at Mariners’ Wharf, First Friday ArtWalk events, day trips to the nearby Outer Banks and attending special events, like the N.C. Potato Festival.

Sometimes, it’s hard to choose.

“We’ve had instances when we had to pick from three things to do,” said Buddy. If people say they can’t find something to do in Elizabeth City, they’re not looking hard enough.”

“We left busy jobs in Raleigh, but then we came here and found out we can have a wonderful life, and careers if we want them, in Elizabeth City,” said Beverly. “Our friends who visit think we are so lucky to live here. I don’t think I recall anytime they said that while we lived in bigger cities.”