Catherine Kwilecki Herndon

Published 10:59 am Wednesday, April 3, 2024

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Catherine Kwilecki Herndon, 72, of Destin, Florida, passed away on March 27, 2024.

Daughter of Jean Kwilecki (Lang) and Gerard Kwilecki, Jr., Catherine was born the youngest of three children on March 29, 1951, in Bainbridge, Georgia. After graduating from Bainbridge High School, she went on to study Pharmacy at Auburn University, graduating summa cum laude.

Post college, she moved to Abbeville, Alabama, where she owned and operated Central Drug. In 1998, she relocated to Destin, Florida, where she continued to practice pharmacy for the remainder of her lifetime.

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Catherine is survived by her children, Hugh Herndon and his wife, Mary, and Caroline Busker and her husband, Jay; four beloved grandchildren, Elinor Busker, Sophia Catherine Busker, Graham Herndon, and Carter Herndon; siblings, Gerard Kwilecki, III and Margaret Howard.

Catherine was a deeply loved mother, grandmother, and friend. While we lost our beloved mom, many have lost a joyous friend and kindhearted confidant. Her intellect, wit, and unwavering positive attitude were a gift to those lucky enough to know her.

Through the years, Catherine was passionate about animals, particularly horses, having aspired to be one as a young child prior to the more reasonable pursuit of riding and showing. She treasured her cherished dog, Max, almost as much as her children and, on certain days, perhaps more so as he was better behaved. She loved to travel and was eager to go anywhere from Birmingham to Bali, assured of having a good time wherever it might be. She created the good time for so many of us. She always found the fun, whether attending a concert, watching her grandchildren play sports, or volunteering her time at the numerous organizations she supported. Entertaining came naturally to Catherine, and she was an exceptional cook. She was the first to invite someone over and got tremendous joy from sharing the results of a new recipe over a bottle of wine. No one has ever made a better cheese straw.

Catherine lost her battle against cancer, and her family wishes to extend a special thanks to Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast Hospital, who treated us all with compassion and care.

Please join her family for a celebration of her life at her home in Destin on Saturday, April 13, 2024; drop in anytime between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Sharing & Caring of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, an organization in which she spent many hours volunteering and for which she felt strongly.

Arrangements are under the direction of Davis-Watkins Funeral Home. To share memories, express condolences and sign the guestbook, please visit