Joan B. Kroc, the billionaire philanthropist, died on Oct. 12 from brain cancer. She was 75.
Joan was a professional musician and music teacher when she married Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds Corp., in 1969. For the past three decades, she made a name for herself as a major contributor to organizations that promote world peace and social aid.
Through the Joan B. Kroc Foundation, she gave money to the St. Vincent de Paul Joan Kroc Center for the Homeless, helped the San Diego Hospice build an inpatient facility for the terminally ill and established the Institute for Peace and Justice. In 2002, the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center in San Diego opened after Joan donated more than $90 million to the Salvation Army. Her $17 million in donations to the University of Notre Dame also endowed The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
For her philanthropic nature, Kroc received The Salvation Army’s “Order of Distinguished Auxiliary Service” award in 2002.