Getty Images. | Facebook/mckean.david.
Getty Images. | Facebook/mckean.david.

RFK's Late Granddaughter Maeve's Colleagues Remember Her as Next Generation Leader in Making

Odette Odendaal
Apr 16, 2020
08:36 A.M.

The death of Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter and her son shook not only family and friends, but also the global health community where they saw her as “a leader in the next generation.”


On the fateful day of April 2, Maeve Kennedy McKean and her son Gideon went out into the protected cove behind their house in Shady Side, Maryland, in a canoe to retrieve a ball that had landed in the water - never to return.

Even though a bystander called 911 after he spotted them in the greater Chesapeake Bay area battling against the wind to no avail. First responders arrived about 5 minutes after the call, but that ended up being the last time anyone spotted them alive.



Despite every effort, rescue workers couldn’t locate the mother-and-son and only found their canoe and paddle. On April 4, authorities found Maeve’s body, and two days later, they discovered her son Gideon’s body about 2,000 feet away from his mother’s location.

Officials had since determined that both Maeve and Gideon’s cause of death to be an accidental drowning, and she leaves behind her husband David McKean and their two remaining children Toby and Gabriella.

Maeve may have sparkled with custom sneakers during her wedding ceremony to David on March 21, 2009, but her light extended much further.



“What I saw in her was sparkle, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor, Dr. Peter Hotez told PEOPLE. “This was somebody that could really carry the torch [for global health initiatives] in a very substantive way. She clearly was going to be a leader in the next generation.”

The 40-year-old mom of three previously worked for several of former President Barack Obama’s global health programs, which included the fight against AIDS, the State Department, the Department of Health, and Human Services’ Office of Global Affairs.

David McKean, Maeve Kennedy Townsend Mckean and family attend the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts 2019 Ripple Of Hope Gala & Auction on December 12, 2019, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images.

David McKean, Maeve Kennedy Townsend Mckean and family attend the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts 2019 Ripple Of Hope Gala & Auction on December 12, 2019, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images.


A lawyer by trade, Maeve also served as the executive director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative.


“Maeve was a brilliant, passionate, and energetic advocate … especially for women and girls and communities impacted by HIV/AIDS,” the senior aide to Georgetown’s president added.

Up until her death, Maeve also got involved in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, and she even contacted Rebecca Katz, the Director of Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University, to enquire about a way she could assist.


With social isolation in place amid the pandemic, family and friends couldn’t physically come together to mourn the loss of Maeve and 8-year-old Gideon, and instead held a memorial service remotely via the Zoom application.


Attended by over 3,000 people, David, Maeve’s mother Kathleen, and others paid tribute during the service, which also saw special performances by Natasha Beddingfield, Kenny Chesney, and Melissa Etheridge.


However, the tributes to Gideon and Maeve didn’t stop there. Outside David and Maeve’s home in Washington, D.C. stands a cherry tree now in full bloom, and supporters turned it into a tribute tree with several notes, and cards thoughtfully hung on its branches.


Several family members also expressed their sadness, as the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, previously married to Maeve's aunt Kerry Kennedy, called the mother and son's death "emotionally very painful" during a press conference.

Maeve's cousin, Kick Kennedy also shared his sadness and wrote in a post that their hearts had broken "beyond description" and added that they will always have a "special place" in his heart.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy

We at news.AmoMama.com do our best to give you the most updated news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, but the situation is constantly changing. We encourage readers to refer to the online updates from CDС, WHO, or Local Health Departments to stay updated.Take care!

Related posts

What Happened to Robby Benson Who Hid His Heart Problem from His Colleagues in Fear of Hurting His Career?

January 29, 2024

Matthew Perry Laid to Rest by Family & ‘Friends’ Co-stars: Glimpse into the Private Funeral Ceremony

November 04, 2023

11 Missing Teeth, Sewn-on Wig and Scars: Whitney Houston's Autopsy Disclosed Grim Details of Her Death

November 28, 2023

Nick & Aaron Carter's Sister Bobbie Jean Dies at 41 — Heartbroken Mother Emotionally Speaks Out

December 24, 2023

How Jimmy Carter Is Doing after 1 Year in Hospice: Wife's Death Could Impact Him, Doctor Says

February 21, 2024

Dad of 8 Found Dead at Home Holding Bodies of His 2 Sons

January 26, 2024

Inside Jackie Kennedy’s $65M Oceanfront Mansion Where 3 Generations of Kennedys Lived

January 16, 2024

Matthew Perry’s Cause of Death: Why It’s Still Unknown after Autopsy, Burial & Death Certificate Release

November 10, 2023

Rosalynn Carter’s Kids, Grandkids, & Great-Grandkids Attend Her Memorial Service – Photos

November 28, 2023

'All My Children' Star Alec Musser's Unexpected Cause of Death at 50 Finally Unveiled- Details

January 17, 2024

Ryan O'Neal Laid to Rest Next to the Love of His Life, Farrah Fawcett - Inside the Intimate Ceremony

December 26, 2023

Rosalynn Carter Was ‘Coming to the End’ but Still Held Hands with Her Husband — She Died at 2:10 p.m at Their Home

November 21, 2023

Matthew Perry’s Death Certificate Finally Released — Photo of the Document Sparked Fan Debate

November 10, 2023

Harolyn Suzanne Nicholas' Life - Dorothy Dandridge's Daughter Died the Same Year as Her Half-Brother

November 08, 2023