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Funeral Set for Saturday, Mary Kennedy Remembered as 'Warm,' 'Caring' and Gracious'

Residents say she should be remembered not for her recent troubles but for her kindness and generous commitment to local causes.

Friends remembered Bedford resident Mary Richardson Kennedy in life as an energetic professional and warm, caring individual.

"She was very easy to talk to and so supportive of our work," said Brian Skanes, executive director of the in Mt. Kisco. Kennedy was involved in the nonprofit organization for several years as a volunteer on the club's annual fundraising dinner. When she heard about the club's Youth of the Year awards, she volunteered to host the event at her home.

Kennedy was found dead on her property May 16. The cause according to the Westchester County Medical Examiner was asphyxiation due to hanging. She was 52. 

An accomplished architect, Kennedy led the renovations on her home on South Bedford Road, which included several ecologically-friendly designs.

"For several weeks leading up to the dinner I visited her at home, which was still under construction, and I'd say 'Mary, will this be ready?' and she'd smile and assure me. , it was beautiful. She was just a warm and caring person," said Skanes.

A wake is planned for Friday at the family's home on South Bedford Road, ABC news reports, through a family publicist. Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at . The Richardson side of the family said in its statement that it was planning a private memorial service in Manhattan and Mary Kennedy will be buried in Hyannisport, MA, where the Kennedy family has a compound, according to the story.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Mary Richardson Kennedy were married in 1994, and filed for divorce in 2010, shortly after Mary Kennedy involving prescription drugs and alcohol. The couple had four children together.

Locals say she should be remembered not for her recent troubles, but for her kindness and generous commitment to local causes.

"We are so saddened to learn about the passing of Mary," said Mary Beth Kass, co-chair of , an organization dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable practices. Kennedy participated in the nonprofit's first energy advisory forum in 2007 and has supported its efforts toward home energy efficiency.

"She was such a lovely, warm and gracious person and was always willing to assist us with our environmental goals," said Kass. "She shared her experience and photos of their beautiful green home renovation—that forum was the beginning of Bedford's focus on home energy efficiency. Mary's generosity, approachability and willingness to share her personal environmental efforts with our community has done a lot to addvance Bedford 2020's goals. We are grateful and will miss having her as our Bedford neighbor."

Peter Michaelis, Bedford resident and longtime friend of Kennedy, yesterday remembered her as a "caring friend," and "someone who was always there for you." The two knew each other as teens in Washington D.C. and later, as fellow college students at Brown University.

Tyler Durden May 17, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Such sad news. For information on suicide please go to www.afsp.org.
Lisa Buchman (Editor) May 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Mary Kennedy was also involved in the Food Allergy Initiative, a New York City-based organization dedicated to food allergy research. Co-founder Sharyn Mann said Kennedy's death was "a great loss to FAI and the food allergy community." She also said Mary was "a loving mother who was committed to finding a cure for her son, and for all children who suffer from food allergies." Kennedy served as a past dinner chair for the group's Food Allergy Ball. "When we needed help, she rolled up her sleeves and was there for us. We will always remember her for her intelligence, elegance, and gentle ways, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to the family," Mann said.
Lisa Buchman (Editor) May 17, 2012 at 04:27 PM
The Kennedy family has stated that donations can be made in Mary Kennedy's name to the Food Allergy Initiative at www.faiusa.org.
NorthCountyHound May 18, 2012 at 01:41 PM
•"Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of."
felipemontaran May 18, 2012 at 09:14 PM
God is responsible for our lives? In my younger brother's case it's was Octavio, a gardner who was abusing him since the age of 6. My brother disposed of this life that Octavio had become THE MASTER OF and which"God" had gifted him with. I don't blame my brother, who also hung himself. He was old school as well.
Jerry G May 18, 2012 at 09:18 PM
My sympathy to the family
10506er May 18, 2012 at 11:10 PM
I am so confused why not one obituary, not the NYTimes even, has such information as "born in, daughter of, graduate of, sibling of." It's as if this dear woman's whole identity got lost the day she married Robert. And with news in LoHud that the Richardson family wanted to take responsibility of her funeral, not the Kennedy's, even in her death it seems she has no peace. I ache for her.
acheforher May 19, 2012 at 12:53 AM
The 'dear' woman's identity was lost when she married Kennedy? Honey, you wouldn't know who she was hadn't she married Kennedy. You ache for her, because the Richardson family wanted to take responsibility for her funeral? Why the ache? I "ache" for her kids, the youngest of which is only 10. I ache for them in dealing with mommies decision to swing sans stool from the rafters of a barn at their home. You ache for her, please.
RonLundy May 19, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Mary was bullied. We must stop all this bullying. I'm sure Robert Kennedy bullied her. Maybe not physically, giving her wedgies or anything, but emotionally. You know, pointing out he was Kennedy and she only a Kennedy by name. Well, at the end of the day she showed him. BULLIES RUIN EVERYTHING. THEY MUST BE STOPPED.
Sean Tully May 19, 2012 at 04:01 PM
How on Earth can anyone sling mud at this sad time for the Kennedy's and Richardson's? My thoughts and prayers go out to both families.
BVESA May 19, 2012 at 04:10 PM
He bullied her and now he is doing the same to her siblings.
pauline schneider May 22, 2012 at 01:10 PM
You have a right to your opinion. Thank you for sharing what is only YOUR opinion. It's a great country where we can all believe in different realities, isn't it?
pauline schneider May 22, 2012 at 01:15 PM
You are so right. Some people have no heart. Look at their words and deeds-empty and stone cold. Easy to kick a person when she's down and can't stand up for herself. They are heartless cowards, mean and callow. And *they* talk about God? Hypocrites too.
pauline schneider May 22, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Anyone with a heart would ache for her....
pauline schneider May 22, 2012 at 01:18 PM
What's your real name? You sling mud from behind a pseudonym like a coward? Show a little more spine.
pauline schneider May 22, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Sometimes "god" goes on extended vacations and people like Octavio have free reign... My heart goes out to you, your brother and Mary and her family....

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