Eunice Shriver 1921-2009
updated 08/24/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 08/24/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT
On August 11 Shriver, who in recent years had a series of strokes, died at age 88. During her final days at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Mass., she was surrounded by her husband of 56 years, former Vice Presidential candidate Sargent Shriver, 93, their five children, among them California First Lady Maria Shriver, 53, and all 19 grandkids. "Throughout her extraordinary life she touched the lives of millions, and for Eunice that was never enough," her brother Sen. Ted Kennedy said in a statement. "... We will miss her deeply."
Though awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation's highest civilian honor—in 1984 for her work on behalf of the mentally disabled, Shriver considered her greatest achievement to be raising her kids, all of them devoted to public service. With pride she once told the Baltimore Sun, "I think they're wonderful in every way."