San Diego Hospice Receives $20 Million Kroc Bequest

Joan B. Kroc, whose husband Ray founded the McDonald's Corporation, has left $20 million to San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The gift builds on Kroc's previous support of the 24-bed in-patient facility, which she visited on a regular basis over the years, especially around the holidays. According to the hospice's Web site, the Joan Kroc Foundation gave $18 million in 1985 to build its campus in the Hillcrest area of San Diego. The bequest, which is more than three times larger than the organization's yearly budget, was announced by hospice executives. "Mrs. Kroc was a brilliant and thoughtful woman who truly understood the responsibility of philanthropy," said hospice president and CEO Jan Cetti.

Kroc spokesman Dick Starmann said Kroc wanted to make death more comfortable for extremely sick patients. As has become their custom since Kroc died at her Rancho Santa Fe home in October, officials of her $1.7 billion estate confirmed the donation only after the hospice made its announcement.

In addition to high-profile gifts such as the $200 million she left to National Public Radio and the two $50 million gifts she gave to support institutes for peace at the University of San Diego and the University of Notre Dame, Kroc made many donations privately, Starmann told the Union-Tribune, and, he added, there could be more announcements in coming weeks.

Jeff McDonald. "Kroc Leaves $20 Million to the S.D. Hospice." San Diego Union-Tribune 12/17/2003.