WICKENBURG- Jeffrey Wayne Berridge, age 75, passed away peacefully on April 28, 2018, in Wickenburg, Arizona. Jeff was born in Lansing, Michigan and attended grade schools in Arizona and Michigan. He graduated from Haslett High School in 1960 and won honors for scholarship and football. After graduation he joined the U.S. Air Force and received training as a ground radio operator. He served in Viet Nam and other parts of Asia, as part of the Strategic Air Command (S.A.C.), before completing his four year tour, at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine.
Jeff began his long and varied career in Prescott, Arizona, as a lineman with Mountain Bell, before working as a well driller and pump setter in Chino Valley, Arizona. Later, he moved back to Michigan and worked at Diamond Rio in Lansing, Michigan. After being laid off due to seniority, Jeff decided to try long-distance trucking, and worked for several diversified companies, including Navajo Freight Lines, James D. Schmidt Trucking, and MST Freight Systems.
Jeff returned to Arizona in early 1990 to work with his youngest brother, Bill, an exploration geologist, on a placer gold mining project near Wickenburg, Arizona. After the project ended in 1991, Jeff returned to Michigan and continued trucking for two more years, as a independent driver for COG Marketers and Barrett Corporation. In 1994, Jeff moved back to Arizona to help his brother, Bill, continue to expand his gold exploration and development consulting firm, Auric Resources, Inc. They shared a rented condo and opened a small office in Wickenburg in June of 1994. To assist with the overhead expenses, Jeff went to work for Roger & Nancy Eberlein, who owned Wickenburg Pump & Supply. Jeff and Roger had previously worked together in 1990 on a placer gold mining project with brother. Jeff enjoyed working for Roger & Nancy and they became like second family to he and Bill, who shared many happy occasions together. Jeff also loved the opportunity to go deer and elk hunting with Roger, and trout fishing with Bill, whenever possible.
In 2002, after several years of working at Wickenburg Pump, Jeff joined his brother again as a V.P. of Placer Operations for Bill's company, Auric Resources International, Inc., which was formed in 1997, as an expanded version of the original company. The new company was now involved in mining gold from it's own properties, rather than just a consulting firm for other mining companies. Jeff loved working on all of various placer and lode gold mining projects and having the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people involved with the mining business, many of which became his life-long friends.
He was very close to his immediate family and was blessed by the love of everyone who knew him well.
He was preceded in death by his parents Kenneth and Phyllis Berridge and his brother, Kenny. He is survived by his younger brother, Bill; sister-in-laws Penny Berridge and Gayle Barkley Lee; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends in Michigan, California and Arizona. Interment will be at the VA Cemetery in Prescott, Arizona. A private celebration of Jeff's life will be held in the near future.