Mary Kennedy mourned in advance of funeral

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mary Kennedy are seen attending a gala fundraiser at the Deer Valley Resort in Salt Lake City in this Dec. 4, 2010 file photo. Mary Kennedy was found dead Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at her home in Bedford, N.Y., an apparent suicide.
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(CBS/AP) BEDFORD, N.Y. - It has become an all-too-familiar scene . . . tragedy once again bringing the Kennedy family together.

Mourners arrived at the home in Bedford, N.Y., last night for the wake of 52-year-old Mary Richardson Kennedy at the same place she died.

They were greeted at the front door by Mary's estranged husband, Robert Kennedy Jr. He and Mary, an architect and environmentalist, had been going through a bitter divorce.

Brother-in-law Douglas Kennedy remembered Mary growing up with the family. "Everybody loved her. She was a part of our family from when I was very young. So we're all going to miss her," he told WCBS correspondent Ann Mercogliano

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Mary, who grew up in Hoboken, was a classmate and close friend of Kerry Kennedy, long before marrying Robert Jr. in 1994 and having four children.

Family members said her public battle with drugs and alcohol and lifelong struggle with depression led her to take her own life on Wednesday.

"She struggled, she struggled, so hard for so long," said Kerry Kennedy. "She fought it with dignity and with love. And in the end, you know, the demons won."

With Mary's death came a legal battle - with both sides of her family in court earlier this week.

The Richardsons wanted control of her body for burial, while Robert Rennedy fought to exercise his right as her surviving spouse.

A judge sealed the outcome.. But now separate memorials are planned by each side of the family.

The Kennedys planned a funeral Saturday morning at a Roman Catholic church in her suburban New York hometown, followed by burial later in the day near the Kennedy family's seaside compound in Hyannisport, Mass.

The Richardsons will have a memorial service in Manhattan on Monday.

"She loved everyone," said Douglas Kennedy. "And she doesn't want anybody to be fighting . . . She loved for everyone to be together, which is what we're trying to do."

Earlier in the day, Robert Kennedy declined to speak about the legal dispute after emerging from a closed court session in White Plains, saying only, "It's all done." Lawyers for Mary Kennedy's siblings also declined to comment or didn't return phone calls.

One of Mary's brothers, Thomas Richardson, filed legal papers in White Plains on Thursday listing Robert Kennedy as the defendant. The medical examiner's office in Westchester County was told there were court proceedings related to custody of Mary Kennedy's body and waited for a court order before releasing it to a funeral home in Bedford, said county spokeswoman Donna Greene.

A judge sealed details of the legal dispute, which came on the day the Kennedys had announced their memorial plans for Mary, including the wake Friday evening.

Relatives, friends including "Curb Your Enthusiasm" creator-star Larry David and "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King, and other mourners - so many that some had to park on nearby side streets - converged to pay their respects. Two police cars were stationed at the end of the long driveway, keeping reporters at a distance.

"Everyone loved her. She was part of our family," Douglas Kennedy said as he left the gathering. "She was the most organized, fun-loving person."

Mary and Robert, the son of assassinated U.S. Senator and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, had been living in separate homes. They had four children together.

"We're trying to take care of Bobby and Mary's kids. That's all that anyone should be caring about," Douglas Kennedy said.

Records in the couple's divorce case are sealed, but the public docket sheet showed that Robert Kennedy's lawyers had sought a contempt order in the case last summer, indicating a dispute between the two sides.

American Express also sued Mary Kennedy in April, claiming she owed $32,624 in unpaid bills. Her lawyers didn't respond to inquiries about that lawsuit.