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Mary Kennedy is mourned at private funeral in NY

Associated Press Modified: May 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm •  Published: May 19, 2012

BEDFORD, N.Y. (AP) — Family and friends gathered 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 Saturday, Mary was buried at a cemetery in Centerville, Mass., several miles 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 program left at the church.

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

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 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.

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