Forty years ago, Bruce Carter Embrey took a job that would propel him to arguably one of the most imposing judicial careers in Indiana.
One might think that Embrey, 70, would want to slow down now, but the fire in his belly — which almost didn’t get lit — still burns.
He will seek a second term as Miami County prosecutor.
“Law provides interesting, ever-changing work that directly benefits people, and I have a strong people-orientation,” Embrey replied.
Embrey had to take detours to law school. And he got to Peru only after getting directions from a highly respected lawmaker.
Born in Riverdale, Md., Embrey lived there and in Virginia until he was 4 years old. His father, Chester T. Embrey, worked for the Federal Aviation Administration.
After Embrey’s parents were divorced, he and his mother, Hazel, moved to Winchester, Ky. When he was 10, his mother married Gene Cook, an auditor for Phillips Petroleum Co., and the family moved to Indianapolis. He eventually would gain a half-sister, Patricia, and a half-brother, Doug.
As a youngster, Embrey was interested in the law, but his mother told him the family could not afford law school. She advised him to be an engineer.
“Bear in mind,” Embrey pointed out, “this was the late ’50’s, when Sputnik was a household word and engineers were in vogue.”
Embrey forgot about law, and after graduating from Warren Central High School in 1961, he enrolled at Hanover College. He lasted a year.
“Dropped out and entered the Navy,” Embrey recalled.
Discharged three years later, he went to work for Indiana Bell, selling Yellow Page advertising.
Then a major turning point occurred.
At a luncheon in Marion, he met Cheryl Pierce. He offered her a ride back to work. She refused. But some six months later, one of Cheryl’s girlfriends in Indianapolis told Bruce that she — Cheryl’s girlfriend — wanted Bruce to meet someone who had just moved to Indianapolis. It was Cheryl.