A beloved wife, mother of four and grandmother of 12, her zest for life, kindness and legendary Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts at her Newport Beach home made her the undisputed center of her family's universe, "the glue that held us together," in the words of her daughter, Kim Beaudette.
Ann, once a paragon of good health, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the summer of 1999. Just five months later, she died from the virulent disease on Christmas Day.
Her three daughters, who considered their mother as much a friend as a parent, went numb. Then they decided to honor her memory. In 2000, sisters Beaudette, Cathy Greinke and Lori Hunter founded the Queen of Hearts Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding ovarian cancer research and education. The foundation, through its sponsorship of tennis tournaments, galas and other events, has raised almost $1 million to date, with about half that money going to UC Irvine.
Queen of Hearts' grants have funded ovarian cancer research by several distinguished UC Irvine professors. Foundation money has also gone to support the Queen of Hearts Foundation Ovarian Cancer Research Laboratory with the Grand Opening was held on July 27th.
Beaudette, president of the Queen of Hearts, said the knowledge, compassion and dedication of UC Irvine cancer specialists led the trio to choose the university as the main recipient of foundation funds.
“UC Irvine is the best kept secret in Orange County,” she said. “If I needed specialized medical care, I would definitely choose UC Irvine.”