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Family lays Mary Kennedy to rest

Family and friends gathered 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.

Mary was buried at a cemetery in Centerville, Massachusetts, 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 programme left at the church. Mary's estranged husband, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, delivered the eulogy.

The 52-year-old architectural designer and environmentalist was found dead of an apparent suicide 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.

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

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.

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