Mary Kennedy’s Body Sparks Family Feud Over Burial Rights

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May 18 2012, Published 9:30 a.m. ET

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By Debbie Emery - Reporter

Even in death she is struggling to find peace.

The body of Mary Richardson Kennedy was released by the authorities to a funeral home on Friday amidst a family fallout over burial rights.

As was first to report, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was discovered dead at her Mount Kisco, New York home Wednesday. The 52-year-old former architect had committed suicide.

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Mary’s body was released after Robert got a court order directing the Westchester County medical examiner turn over the body to the Clark Associates Funeral Home, reported

The Medical Examiner's office had previously refused to make the hand over to Clark Associates, who have been preparing the funeral upon Kennedy’s request, because the deceased’s siblings and her estranged husband's family were fighting over where she would be buried.

It is expected that there will be a private wake on Friday night or early Saturday morning at one of the family's homes, and then a funeral at 10 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location.

Mary was married to the famed Kennedy – whose father was assassinated senator Bobby Kennedy - for 16 years, before he filed for divorce in May 2010. The couple had four children together.

A long time friend, who spoke to Mary on Monday, told they were sadly not surprised by reports that the 52-year-old had taken her own life, as she was facing mounting financial woes and the end of her marriage.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr
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Not pleased that the powerful family is taking over her final farewell, Mary’s brothers and sister are planning a sunset memorial Monday night at the Standard Hotel in Manhattan.

"The first task is for Mary's family to take her to her final resting place, with the dignity and love she deserves," her siblings wrote in a statement released Friday.


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