▲ Donald Elmore Brutkiewicz
Donald Elmore Brutkiewicz
Mobile attorney Don Brutkiewicz, 89, passed away peacefully on July 25,2019 after a brief illness. He was predeceased by his parents, Clement Rousseau and Lela Booth Brutkiewicz; his brother, Clement Booth Brutkiewicz; and his beloved wife of 60 years, Elizabeth Cook Brutkiewicz. He is survived by his five sons, 10 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Don was born in Mobile on January 26,1930. At age five, his family moved to Gulf-port (where he enjoyed an idyllic childhood) and returned to Mobile his senior year, finishing at Murphy High School. He received both his undergraduate degree in history and his law degree from the University of Alabama. It was there that he met Elizabeth, a co-ed from Eufaula, at an Alabama-Auburn game, and he married her on May 29,1952.
He served in the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate General assigned to a post in Morocco. In 1956, he returned to Mobile to practice law and was appointed assistant district attorney by his uncle, Carl Booth. In 1970, he started his own criminal law practice and later was joined by his sons, Skip and John. In his 65 years of practice, he participated in more than 1,000 criminal jury trials and more than 3,000 cases, making him one of the most active attorneys in Mobile since the 1950s.
He was a fixture at the courthouse, affectionately known as "Daddy Don" and "Downtown Don. "Don was quite a colorful and unorthodox character, renowned storyteller and story-maker. He was also eternally restless; in his prime, his Sunday ritual was to awaken at 4:00 a.m., read the newspaper and then history books and magazines, usher at early...