With final election done, Alsdorf ready for retirement
Outside Mildred Alsdorf’s office at the Garfield County Courthouse sits a bouquet of purplish-pink flowers.There’s a large Stargazer lily, pink carnations, and a few slender purple flowers.Someone is thinking about her.
After 28 years as county clerk and recorder, Alsdorf is working through her last Election Day in office.”It’s kind of a happy and a sad time,” she says.The fragrance of the Stargazer lily floats in the air, into her office where a vase of wilted red carnations stands tall near heaping stacks of papers and elephant figurines. Someone else is thinking about her.At 77, Alsdorf is retiring from Garfield County. During her nearly three-decade term as clerk and recorder, she ran uncontested.Every year, for 28 years.”I was very fortunate,” she says. “People have told me they like what I do.”Alsdorf has always lived by the fundamental principle of treating others as she would want to be treated.”I’ve made a lot of good friends in the community,” Alsdorf says.She worries that today’s society isn’t so conscious of such Golden-Rule ethics.”We don’t have as much of that as there used to be,” she says. “I think that the world is going too fast. I think people are living their lives too fast, and they’ve lost the respect there used to be.”
Alsdorf started out working for Garfield County 35 years ago as deputy county clerk. She and her husband, Carrol, now deceased, moved to the area from Adams County, Colo., in 1961.Counting ballots wasn’t always on her agenda.”When I was young, before I left home, I wanted to be a nurse,” she says.Instead of a career in the medical field, Alsdorf went to Barnes Business School in Denver and later took a job as a secretary for Adams City High School. Then she entered the world of politics and her life was never the same.”I just love the fact that you can see if you can better what’s out there,” Alsdorf says of the voting process.Through it all, she has remained a staunch Republican.”I’ve been a member of the Republican party for a long time,” she says.That explains all those elephants.One look around her office and an elephant figurine or stuffed animal will pop out somewhere. She has gray elephants, green elephants, crystal elephants, and a particularly patriotic elephant that’s red, white and blue and emblazoned with stars.From her brother to staff members, someone always seems to buy her one if they’re thinking about her.”I started collecting them a long time ago,” she says. “I probably have close to 200.”She also has an eye for license plates – the more unique, the better.”I have a friend who is a license plate collector and we exchange them.”One license plate in her collection was shaped into a photo album, handcrafted by a local Boy Scout troop.”They come here (to the county clerk’s office) and ask for extras and make photo albums out of them and bird houses,” she says. “They like to come by and show me what they’ve made.”
Alsdorf is known for her loyalty to the community and the voters of Garfield County. She is also highly regarded by her staff.She’s just awesome,” clerk Robin McMillan says.”She’s your friend,” clerk Trish Hampton adds.”She’s very giving,” McMillan says.”We’re family,” Hampton says.”She’s our mother,” McMillan agrees.”We even call her mom,” Hampton says.Alsdorf is “Mom” to many.She has three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.”Work and family are important to me,” she says. “I feel family comes first.”And her family feels the same.On Tuesday night, Alsdorf’s son, daughter-in-law, daughter, one of her granddaughters, and a grandson volunteered to help during her final Election Day as county clerk and recorder.”My family is real good at doing things like that,” she says.To mark the occasion, two of her granddaughters thought to send their grandmother flowers.A bunch of red carnations.And a bouquet of pink flowers.Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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