The Berges Family Says Goodbye to their Beloved Cathy Berges


Cathy Berges, 1948-2020

The Berges family sadly announces that on Thursday, May 14, 2020, Cathy Berges died peacefully at home after a battle with cancer. Dearest wife of Jim; beloved mother of Kevin and wife Kara; aunt to tens of loving nieces and nephews, and cherished friend to many, Cathy was a light that shone brightly for all who knew her.

Cathy was best known for her generosity of heart and of deed. Although she had a fondness for theatre, jazz, art, and animals, Cathy’s reach extended to over 35 St. Louis institutions. At the time of her death, Cathy sat on the board of the Missouri Botanical Garden. She also served on the boards of The Repertory Theatre, Missouri Historical Society, and The Nine Network of Public Media.

Cathy and her husband Jim, married their senior year of college, moved to St. Louis 44 years ago, when Cathy immediately became a visible presence in the St. Louis philanthropic landscape. She maintained that everyone has something to give − either time, treasure, or talent. She often stated that when she and Jim were first married, her donation checks were for five and ten dollars. As time passed, she was able to ‘add a few more zeros to those checks,’ which made her happy.

Over the many decades in St. Louis, Cathy and her friends organized countless galas and events for dozens of non-profits, raising millions of dollars for worthy causes. In the last six years of her life, Cathy, along with her husband Jim, concentrated much of her time on the Berges Family Foundation, which focuses on making St. Louis a better place to live, work, play, and invest.

“Cathy was wildly witty and fun. She was relatable, non-judgmental, and loving. Without intent, her generous heart and playful spirit made her a natural role model in marriage, family leadership, and philanthropy.”

Perhaps Cathy’s most precious and proud achievements were her 51-year marriage to her college sweetheart, Jim, and raising their 34-year-old son, Kevin. Cathy was never more radiant, nor held a grander event than last October when family and friends gathered for the glorious celebration of Kevin’s marriage to Kara.

While Cathy will be dearly missed, she has left behind a legacy of memories, lessons, leadership, and most of all, her love and laughter. It is in these ways that those who love her will find comfort.