Meet Our Retirees

“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.”

Elizabeth City Perfect Spot for Second Career

Meet the Bruderles

A second career can be oh so rewarding, as Pete Bruderle will tell you. Nearly 30 years into a successful financial career, working and traveling the globe as a CFO, he left it behind in 2006 to teach high school math. Eight years later, he and his wife Sally made another life-changing choice – to move from bustling Fairfax, Va., to Elizabeth City.

They’ve never been happier, they say.

“I was tired of the business world,” said Pete, who earned a BA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. “Even though I did a lot of exciting things, it was very stressful. I wanted to do something more meaningful, and as it turns out, something I enjoyed more.”

Embarking on second, and even third careers, has become increasingly common, according to the Bureau of Labor, as more workers elect to make better use of their skills, act on a long-deferred dream or pursue new interests.

Being able to start anew in a new location was the icing on the cake for the Bruderles. Sally grew up in Elizabeth City, living with her family on a farm outside the town limits. Following graduation from the University of North Carolina, she and Pete met while working in Athens, Ga. After they married, settling in Philadelphia and then Fairfax, the couple returned to Elizabeth City often to visit family and introduce their children to Sally’s hometown.

“We gave a lot of thought to Elizabeth City,” said Pete. “Back in the day, when we had young children, we would never have thought about retiring here. As time went on, Elizabeth City looked better and better as we started evaluating our life in Fairfax and the wonderful quality of life in Elizabeth City.”

They purchased a lot in 2007 on Rivershore Road. Soon after their youngest left the nest, they built and moved in to their new home in 2014. That same year, Pete took a teaching job at Currituck High School. Today he teaches math and special education at the Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies, a new STEM-focused magnet school that complements Elizabeth City’s aviation industry.

The switch from northern Virginia’s congestion to Elizabeth City’s open spaces has been an easy one for the couple. Pete likes the five-minute drive to the Academy (when the weather’s nice he bikes). Sally, who had enjoyed a busy career in art and then in online sales for The New York Times and Billboard magazine, volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem with the North Carolina court system. In this role, she is appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of an abused or neglected child.

In their down time, they explore the waterways on their 30-foot sailboat, work in their garden, take in art openings and concerts at Arts of the Albemarle and socialize with their neighbors.

“We have a pier, kayaks, restaurants in town,” said Sally. “Our children love it, and our daughter just moved here with us and will start at College of the Albemarle next semester.”

“There are things you can see and like in Elizabeth City – the water, golf course, neighborhoods. But for me, the most lovely thing about living here is the fact that it’s just a beautiful, friendly small town,” said Pete.

In fact, Pete has already designed, in his head, a small ad that he believes Elizabeth City’s business leaders should place in The New Yorker magazine. The headline should read, “Shhhh,” and below that it would say, in slightly smaller type, “Don’t tell anyone. Elizabeth City, N.C.”