Special Olympics Mourns The Loss Of Eunice Kennedy Shriver

ronald weintraubContributor IAugust 12, 2009

PARKERSBURG, IA - JUNE 24: Flowers line the practice football field near where high school football coach Ed Thomas was shot and killed by a former player in the morning hours of June 24, 2009 in Parkersburg, Iowa. Thomas had been a coach at Aplington-Parkersburg High School for 34 years. A 24-year-old suspect has been arrested.  (Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images)

To all coaches and athletes and supporters of Special Olympics.

Special Olympics Mourns the loss Eunice Kennedy Shriver today.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver died yesterday Morning at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

She was 88 years old near her at time her death

She was surrounded by her family where her husband R. Sargent Shriver, her five children Robert Sargent Shriver III, Maria Owings Shriver, Timothy Perry Shirver, Mark Kennedy Shirver and Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver Shriver as well as their spouses And of her nineteen grandchildren were at her bedside at the time of her passing.

The younger sister of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Shriver was the founder and Honorary Chair person of Special Olympics, and executive vice president of the Joseph p. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation.

She has been a leader in the world wide movement to improve and to enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities for more the six decades.

Born in Brookline Massachusetts on July 10, 1921, she was the fifth of nine children of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy .

She received of a Bachelor of Arts Degree From Stanford University.

Along with numerous others honors and awards, in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI bestowed upon her the title of Dame of the Papal Order of St. Gregory.

The great Shriver also started a day camp now known as Camp Shriver for children with intellectual disabilities at her home in Potomac, Maryland in June 1962.

Special olympics family and athletes, its an enormous loss but we can rest assured that her legacy will live on her family, friends and millions of people around world who she touched and transformed and in her memory.