Founded in 2010, the mission of the Josette Beddell Memorial Foundation is to help better the lives of families in North East Ohio affected by cancer. Breast Cancer doesn’t just affect the patient, it affects the whole family: physically, emotionally and financially. We work to raise funds and find families in our community where those funds could make a positive impact on their lives. Our foundation is rooted in the ideals of Josette Beddell, who lost her battle with breast cancer but lived her life working to better the community she lived in.
" My prayer is that research will prevent my four daughters and all daughters of cancer victims from ever having this terrible disease. "
— Josette Beddell
(Letter to the editor, Canton Repository, 1999)
Josette Beddell was born July 15, 1945, the only daughter of Joe and Lucy Varn. She had three brothers, Dennis (Mary Jo) and Ken (Johanna) of Canton, OH, and Donald (Cheryl) of Baldwinsville, NY. She married David. L Beddell April 4, 1970, and together they had five children: four daughters, Bridget, Jamee, Darcie and Mary, and one son, David, all Canton McKinley High School Graduates.
A lifelong resident of Canton, Josette graduated from Timken High School in 1963. She held many jobs throughout her life, beginning her career at American Electric Power and finishing years later in the Eagle’s Nest at the Strip Giant Eagle in Canton, OH. But by a mile, Josette’s most important job was being a mother.
Throughout her life, Josette’s commitment to her family, faith, community and education was evident to anyone who knew her. She volunteered as a Girl Scout leader, preschool teacher, room mother, and was an active member of St. Anthony Parish and their Miraculous Medal Sodality.
Like her mother before her Josette passed away from breast cancer, June 29, 2002, after a five-year battle. Her hopes were that her daughters would never have to endure this disease, and that a day would come when no woman would lose her life to breast cancer.
Josette Beddell could engage an audience with her stories, had a warm embrace and a contagious spirit. She could ease a crying baby with the touch of a hand and make a five-course meal on a shoestring budget. Throughout her life, she taught her children compassion, empathy and the power of kindness.