Laurie Bridwell

Bridwell Enlarge photo


Former Durango and Breen resident Laurie Bridwell died Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, at her home in Santa Fe. She had turned 53 one month earlier. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Ms. Bridwell was born to Anthony and Lorraine Bridwell in 1959 in Highland Park, Ill. After spending her early years in Deerfield and Evanston, Ill., she graduated from high school in Rochester, Minn.

Ms. Bridwell graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1981. After earning her paralegal certification at the Denver Paralegal Institute in 1984, she moved to Telluride to ski and then to Durango to work. Ms. Bridwell was the coordinator of the Southwest Colorado Legal Aid Office for six years. She lived here from 1984 to 2001.

In June 1988, she married Jack Tepe at the Fort Lewis College Chapel in Durango. The couple were separated at the time of her death.

Ms. Bridwell lived with her husband and son on Wildcat Canyon Road (County Road 141) in the home they built, raising her son, supporting the Hesperus Ski Area and local Montessori and Durango School District 9-R elementary schools.

After moving to Tucson, Ariz., with her family for a decade, she spent her final two years in Santa Fe in order to ski at Taos Ski Valley as much as possible.

An avid homemaker, reader, traveler, proud liberal activist, skier and cook, she loved Durango and the Southwest and fulfilled her cowgirl destiny, her family said.

Ms. Bridwell is survived by her son, Samuel Tepe of Eugene, Ore.; parents, Anthony and Lorraine Bridwell of Rochester; brothers Bruce Bridwell of Fairbanks, Alaska, and Geoffrey Bridwell of Rochester; and husband, Jack Tepe of Phoenix.

Ms. Bridwell was remembered at a universal service and balloon launch on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, at Rivera Funeral Home in Santa Fe.