Mary Beddell | Books of My Life

Mary Beddell is a lifelong resident of Canton and a 2002 graduate of Canton McKinley Senior High School and 2006 graduate of Kent State University.

Mary Beddell is a lifelong resident of Canton and a 2002 graduate of Canton McKinley Senior High School and 2006 graduate of Kent State University. 

She is currently in her sixth year as public relations director for Plain Local Schools. Mary also serves as the chapter manager for the Ohio School Public Relations Association.

Mary founded the Josette Beddell Memorial Foundation in 2010 with the help of family and friends, in memory of her mother, Josette, who passed away from breast cancer in 2002. The mission of the Josette Beddell Memorial Foundation is to help better the lives of families in Ohio affected by cancer by providing direct financial assistance to families in need. To date, the Josette Beddell Memorial Foundation has offered grants to more than 350 local families totaling close to half a million dollars in financial assistance.

What is your guilty pleasure book?
I can’t help but love YA. “Looking for Alaska” by John Green (286 pages, 2005). I just learned that it has been made into a series on Hulu, and I am afraid to watch because I loved the book so much. 

What book got you interested in your career? 
“Promise Me” by Nancy G. Brinker (370 pages, 2010). It is about how she started the Susan G. Komen Foundation in memory of her sister. It was a gift to me from my brother after I co-founded the Josette Beddell Memorial Foundation in memory of my mom. 

What is the last book you read?
“The Proposal” by Jasmine Guillory (338 pages, 2018). It was the perfect easy beach read. 

What is the last book that made you laugh out loud?
“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me” by Mindy Kaling (242 pages, 2011). I actually think I cackled a few times reading this book.  

Who is your favorite author and why?
Emily Giffin. She has never written a book that I didn’t love. I follow her on social media, and one time she replied to an Instagram comment I made, so I feel like we are friends. 

What is next up on your reading list?
Whatever Reese Witherspoon tells me to read. (Reese Witherspoon has a book club. For more information, visit hello-sunshine.com/book-club.)

What is your go-to book recommendation?
“Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn (349 pages, 2009). “Gone Girl” got so much attention, but I truly think “Dark Places” is her best work. 

What is a classic you tell people you’ve read but really haven’t?
“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck (581 pages, 1939) … Sorry to my high school English teacher, but I only read the CliffsNotes. 

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass