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Eunice Shriver: A neighbor remembers

September 28, 2009 | 10:41 am


When Eunice Kennedy Shriver died Aug. 11, the Obits staff was prepared with an obituary written in advance on the founder of the Special Olympics and the sister of JFK, RFK and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who would die two weeks later of brain cancer.

Readers often want to share their connection with those we write about, famous or not, as this e-mail I received from Michael Monagan of Culver City illustrates:


Nice article on a person who made a huge impact on our world.

Our family spent from 1964 to 1975 as neighbors of the Shrivers on Edson Lane in Rockville, MD. I have been teaching special education for 25 years and sometime wonder if my attraction to the kids I work with wasn’t fostered by helping out with those early events that were to become the Special Olympics. The Shrivers were always very generous with their tennis court, swimming pool, and trampoline although in fact they didn’t own Timberlawn. The property belonged to other friends of ours the Brewers who rented it to the Shrivers for the (at the time) mind-boggling price of $1,000 per month!

Another commitment that the Shrivers made was the Christ Child Institute which was a facility adjacent to Timberlawn that treated children with emotional disabilities. My family and I spent time there working with the kids usually through music.

Thanks for drawing attention to someone whose amazing accomplishments are often overlooked.

-- Valerie J. Nelson

Photo: Eunice Shriver swims with developmentally disabled children in 1964 at a Philadelphia camp. Credit: Associated Press