Private funeral for Mary Kennedy

2012-05-20 14:41

Bedford - Family and friends gathered on Saturday at a modest stone church in a hamlet north of New York City for the funeral of Mary Richardson Kennedy, the latest member of that charmed and cursed family to fall victim to tragedy and inner demons.

The service, held on a beautiful spring morning, was private, but the list of celebrities attending was a testament to both Kennedy star power, and Mary's knack for friendship.

Later on Saturday, Mary was buried at a cemetery in Centerville, Massachusetts, several kilometres away from the Kennedy seaside compound in Hyannisport.

The mourners at the funeral included actors Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase and Edward James Olmos, tennis great John McEnroe and musician Paul Shaffer. Glenn Close sang and "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David spoke during the ceremony, according to a programme left at the church.

Mary's estranged husband, Robert F Kennedy Jr, delivered the eulogy.

Rich friendships

Speaking to reporters outside the church before the service, Mary's sister-in-law and nearly lifelong friend, Kerry Kennedy, recalled her as "brilliant" and "beautiful."

"She cared so very, very deeply about everybody around her," she said.

But she added that Kennedy had fought a lifelong struggle against depression.

The 52-year-old architectural designer and environmentalist was found dead of an apparent suicide on Wednesday at the family's estate in Bedford. Her death followed a difficult two years, during which her husband filed for divorce and she was charged twice with driving while intoxicated.

Still, Kerry Kennedy said, those troubles didn't stop her from developing "really deep, rich, rich friendships," with friends in every corner of the globe.

"She was an angel who was brought to us, to live with us here on earth, and I think that God just brought her back up to heaven, and said, 'You don't have to fight for me anymore,'" Kerry Kennedy said, her voice breaking.

The casket was carried into St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church by a group that included three of Mary Kennedy's older children, one of her sisters and the hotelier André Balazs.

Close to the clan

A bell tolled at the end of the service. Robert Kennedy touched the hearse lightly as it departed with her body.

Mary Richardson married into the Kennedy family in 1994, but had been close to the clan since meeting Kerry at boarding school as a teenager. The pair wound up being roommates for 15 years, including their time together at Brown University.

She had four children with Robert, the son of assassinated US senator and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, but the couple separated years ago. He filed for divorce in 2010. The case was pending when she died.

Shortly after the split, her internal struggles became public when she was arrested twice on charges of driving while intoxicated.

The domestic turmoil extended into preparations for her funeral. One of Mary's brothers went to court to request custody of her body, which could potentially have spoiled a Kennedy plan to bury her near the family's seaside compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts.

At the interment on Saturday evening, Robert Kennedy knelt with family members and paid respects at the casket in St Francis Xavier Cemetery. He left the grave site with his arm around a young family member.

Robert Kennedy and a lawyer for the Richardson family spent part of the day in court Friday arguing the case, before Mary's body was released to her husband just hours before her planned wake. Details of the case were sealed by a judge.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.