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Public wake for Shriver set for Thursday

  • Story Highlights
  • Public invited to attend wake Thursday for Eunice Kennedy Shriver
  • Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy, founded the Special Olympics in 1962
  • She is survived by her husband, daughter and five sons
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(CNN) -- A public wake will be held Thursday in Centerville, Massachusetts, for Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of President John F. Kennedy and a champion of the disabled.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics, which began as a day camp in her backyard in 1962.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics, which began as a day camp in her backyard in 1962.

The wake will take place from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church.

Details about her burial, which is to be private, were not available.

Shriver died Tuesday at age 88. Born on July 10, 1921, in Brookline, Massachusetts, Shriver was the fifth of nine children of Joseph P. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Shriver emerged from the long shadow of siblings John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Sen. Edward Kennedy as the founder of the Special Olympics, which started as a summer day camp in her backyard in 1962.

Today, 3.1 million people with mental disabilities participate in 228 programs in 170 nations, according to the Special Olympics. Video Watch Shriver discuss her work with the disabled »

"Eunice is now with God in heaven. My sister Jean and I, and our entire family, will miss her with all our hearts," Edward Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, said on his Web site. "I know that our parents and brothers and sisters who have gone before are filled with joy to have her by their side again."

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Her health began to fail in recent years, landing her in the hospital in 2005 after a minor stroke and hip fracture. She was hospitalized again in 2007 for an undisclosed ailment.

In addition to her husband R. Sargent Shriver and California's first lady Maria Shriver, she is survived by her sons Robert Sargent Shriver III, Timothy Perry Shriver, Mark Kennedy Shriver and Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver.

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