October 26, 2003 by

Joan Kroc


Categories: Misc.

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.

20 Responses to Joan Kroc

  1. Renee

    She put her money where her mouth was, not too many wealthy people do. People should remember her for all of her giving which made San Diego and the world a better place.

  2. Mike

    So sorry to here of the death of Joan Kroc even though she had me suspended and this led to my dismissal as a games supervisor at the Mirage Casino in 1992 because she complained that I let her bet over her limit playing Blackjack. All of her money was returned to her by the casino and I was let go. Thank You Joan, you are TRUELY a philanthropist.

  3. Jan

    Joan Kroc will be remember by the residents of the College area for the Joan Kroc Center and her caring spirit for everyone. God Bless her family in her passing.

  4. Dexter

    Today is the first time that I’m hearing about the passing of Joan Kroc. I didn’t even know that Ray Krok had a surviving spouse!! Nevertheless, I’ve always been mesmerized at the food empire that Ray Kroc founded. Now, I’m even more amazed at the generosity of Joan Kroc.
    Mrs. Kroc gives an all new meaning to the phrase “it is better to give than to receive”. To the Kroc family: Thank you for making such a positive impact on society.

  5. Leland Jesperson

    God bless the memory of one of the most generous woman in the history of mankind. I believe she is in a better place now.
    Love, Lee Jesperson

  6. Nestor Valverde

    Realemente creo que siempre te dejaste usar por Dios mismo para establecer su reino de amor y paz aqui en la tierra.
    Y aun ahora continuas de alguna manera haciendolo por lo que dejaste establecido que se continuara haciendo despues de tu partida.
    El Senor te tenga en su gloria eterna.


    Joan you will be missed, you taught me a lot about people. I’ll miss our talks and your pleasant smile. Sorry for your lost, Phil. I’ll miss you both.

  8. Darnell

    Am researching Ray Kroc for school. Most of the article were dated from 1998. This was most recent info. My sincert condoliences to the family.

  9. max

    Was she married to Ray Kroc, because of his wealth?? I heard Ray Kroc divorced with his first wife Ethel Fleming, one of the divorce reasons is that Kroc divorced and had a romance love with Joan Kroc, who was a wife of Kroc’s friend at that time. But Joan failed to divorce with her husband.

  10. eva bifulk

    she was my grandma, she was the funnest person in the world to spend time with. she absolutely loved her 3 dogs, pooch, sandra, and walter. not a lot of people know how truly great she was. she didn’t fritter away her money like other people. my grandpa phil was her partner for 14 years, so she wasn’t biologically my grandma but she i grew up knowing her as that. she had the most sincere heart and i loved her literally to death, (she was quite funny, so i dont think she would be offended by that.)

  11. Sean Mitchell

    I did not know her well at all except that she was very generous to my grandmother who worked for her for decades. She bought her a car when she was in a near fatal accident. My grandmother respected Mrs. Kroc which is good enough for me. I had the privilege of spending a lot of time at the Kroc ranch in Santa Ynez Valley and enjoyed the great taste that Mrs. Kroc had in art. I think that she was a remarkable person.

  12. Kent

    I didn’t know Mrs. Kroc well, but met the lady by chance at my colleague’s home in Pennsylvania where I just joined a company back in 1971. I liked her instantly for her sincerity and honesty. She just returned from Tokyo opening M’s first restaurant on the Ginza and she was really thrilled about it. A very fine person.

  13. Lisa Napoli

    I am a journalist based in Los Angeles, and I’m writing a biography of the late Mrs. Kroc and would love to hear your stories. Please feel free to be in touch: lisa @ lisanapoli. com Thanks so much. Lisa

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