Catherine "Kay" Berridge, Leading Founder

Camellia Lover and Advocate for the Mind

Catherine BerridgeCatherine P. "Kay" Berridge (1906-2003), humanitarian and philanthropist, bequeathed a generous endowment from her estate to Bridgeway Center, Inc. (BCI) in support of community based behavioral health. Catherine was President of the Community Action Program and a founder of the Okaloosa County Guidance Clinic (now Bridgeway Center, Inc.), Head Start and Foster Grandparents programs. She was awarded the Florida Association of Mental Health's Silver Medallion. Catherine was active in the Camellia Society, Delta Omicron Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi and St. Simon's on-the-Sound Episcopal Church. Catherine grew up in Lewistown, Montana. She attended Washington State University (WSU) in 1929, where she met her husband, Harold L. "Biff" Berridge.

In 2000, at the age of 93 years, Catherine Berridge was inducted into the Okaloosa County Women's Hall of Fame. Mrs. Berridge was the first President of the Okaloosa Guidance Clinic (OGC) Board of Directors. She served on the Board with her husband, Lt. Colonel Harold Berridge. Colonel Berridge retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1966 as the Director of Human Factors Engineering at Eglin Air Force Base. He died in July 1989.

A Heritage and Honor Wall in remembrance of Catherine Berridge was constructed at BCI's Hospital Drive headquarters in the Catherine Berridge Education Room. In additional to an educational program, the Bridgeway Center Behavioral Student Scholarship Program was established in August 2008 and and benefits from her endowment.

A celebration of her life was held in August 2008, the five year anniversary of her death, August 2003. A portrait in oils of Mrs. Berridge, painted by local artist JB Cobbs was placed on permanent display within the Heritage and Honor Wall at Bridgeway Center, Inc.

A commemorative framed certificate of Mrs. Berridge's life, signed by the Board of Trustees 2007 Chair/President, Keith Kulow, M.D., and Julie Smith, BSN, RN, 2006 Chair/President, and Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Cobbs, MPA, FACHE, was presented to Mrs. Susan Gross, a life long friend of Kay's.

Updated: 09.06.11