An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday, and no cause of death hadbeen released. In a statement issued by Robert Kennedy Jr.'s chief of staff, thefamily described Mary Kennedy as "a genius atfriendship." "Mary inspired our family with her kindness, her love, hergentle soul and generous spirit," the family said. The former Mary Richardson, a longtime connection of the Kennedyclan, married Robert Kennedy Jr., a prominent environmental lawyerand the son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. |
Kennedy , in 1994. The couple had four children, the youngest born in July2001. Robert Kennedy Jr. also has two children from a previousmarriage. Mary Kennedy was an architect and designer and had overseen therenovation of the couple's home into an environmentally advancedshowpiece.
Her family cited her devotion to her children inremembering her. "We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whoseradiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those wholoved her," the family said in a statement issued by Lawrence."Our heart goes out to her children who she loved withoutreservation." Neighbor Leslie Lampert, who owns the Cafe of Love restaurant ashort drive from the Kennedy home, said Mary Kennedy was "atall times just a lovely individual." "She was community oriented," Lampert said. "She wasalways kind in our presence." Another neighbor, Kim Fraioli, a trauma therapist who lives a fewhouses down from the Kennedys, said the family was private. "We left them alone," Fraioli. "We didn't have anyinteraction.
I think it's a tragedy. It's very sad for their familyand the surviving children. My heart goes out to the family." At the home on Wednesday, a red brick mansion with a columned porchentrance set in a heavily wooded acreage, police kept media away. Mary Richardson had known the Kennedys for years, through herfriendship with Robert Kennedy Jr.'s sister, Kerry Kennedy , whom she met at boarding school.
She had been Kerry Kennedy'smaid of honor at her wedding in 1990. She had had trouble with drugs and alcohol and had two high-profilearrests around the time her husband filed for divorce in 2010. Kennedy was first arrested May 15 of that year on a charge ofdriving while intoxicated after a police officer reported seeingher drive her car over a curb near the family's Bedford home. Heronly passenger was a dog, and police said she had a blood-alcohollevel of 0.11 percent; the legal limit is 0.08 percent.
Her licensewas suspended. At the time of her sentencing, famous family and friends spoke outin support of her. Her mother-in-law, Ethel Kennedy , wrote in a letter that she "is a caring, nourishing motherwho has nursed her four children through lifelong bouts ofdebilitating allergies," according to an account in Westchester 's The Journal News at the time. Kerry Kennedy, in her letter, said, "When I look at my threedaughters, my wish for them is that they are as blessed as I havebeen to have a companion, a confidante, a friend, like MaryRichardson." Mary Kennedy was charged later that year with driving under theinfluence of drugs, but that charge was dismissed in July 2011 whena judge said the evidence showed she didn't know the medicationsshe had taken would impair her ability to drive.
The unexpected death of another person connected to the storiedKennedy clan brought to mind the other sorrows the famous familyhas suffered. Shopping in Bedford, Diane Glokler said, "I've always justthought that family is very tragic. They keep having tragic thingshappening to them. It's heart-wrenching.".
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