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The Missing Kennedy
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Rosemary (Rosie) Kennedy was born in 1918, the first daughter of a wealthy Bostonian couple who later would become known as the patriarch and matriarch of America's most famous and celebrated family. Elizabeth Koehler was born in 1957, the first and only child of a struggling Wisconsin farm family. What, besides their religion, did these two very different Catholic women have in common? One person really: Stella Koehler, a charismatic woman of the cloth who became Sister Paulus Koehler after taking her vows with the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi. Sister Paulus was Elizabeth's Wisconsin aunt. For thirty-five years -- indeed much of her adult life -- Sister Paulus was Rosie Kennedy's caregiver. And a caregiver, tragically, had become necessary after Rosie, a slow learner prone to emotional outbursts, underwent one of America's first lobotomies -- an operation Joseph Kennedy was assured would normalize Rosie's life. It did not. Rosie's condition became decidedly worse. After the procedure, Joe Kennedy sent Rosie to rural Wisconsin and Saint Coletta, a Catholic-run home for the mentally disabled. For the next two decades, she never saw her siblings, her parents, or any other relative, the doctors having issued stern instructions that even the occasional family visit would be emotionally disruptive to Rosie. Following Joseph Kennedy's stroke in 1961, the Kennedy family, led by mother Rose and sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, resumed face to face contact with Rosie. It was also about then that a young Elizabeth Koehler began paying visits to Rosie. In this insightful and poignant memoir, based in part on Sister Paulus' private notes and augmented by nearly one-hundred never-before-seen photos, Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff recalls the many happy and memorable times spent with the "missing Kennedy".
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About the Author

The author of nine books, including a Writer's Digest Selection for The ABCs of Writing for Children, Liz has now written an adult memoir, The Missing Kennedy (Bancroft Press), which will be out in 2015. A former Byline Magazine "Writing for Children" columnist, Liz wrote frequent humor pieces for the San Francisco Examiner as well as hundreds of articles and essays in newspapers and magazines such as Parents Magazine, Writer's Digest, and Parenting. With degrees in Liberal Studies and Theater Arts/Children's Theater and two teaching credentials, she's directed plays and taught elementary, middle school students, and teachers. A speaker for international and state conferences, she presents assemblies and workshops for schools and libraries. Born in rural Wisconsin, Liz moved to California for all her college and post-graduate education, and has lived most of her adult life in the San Francisco area. She's married, and has one grown child. Visit her blog for writing advice, ideas, and anecdotes http: //lizbooks.com/blog/, contact her at lizbooks@aol.com, or visit her at her website, www.lizbooks.com.

Reviews

"Such a touching book!" -- People Magazine "Aunt Rosemary inspired so many to work against injustice and ignorance. Her struggle and her immense legacy will be felt and celebrated by reading this exceptional book."-- Bobby Shriver Fascinating story! -- BBC World News Service (Claire Marshall, "Newsday") "Reveals an untold chapter in the Kennedy saga... Also shows how knowledge of Rosie's disability led to the founding of the Special Olympics by Eunice Kennedy... Interesting glimpses into one member of the Kennedy clan who was almost lost to her family." -- Kirkus Review "The Missing Kennedy is a truly inspiring story. It captures my Aunt Rosie's spirit so well. I especially love how it intertwines the stories about Rosie and the authors Aunt Stella. And it provides some great glimpses into the authors experiences with both of them." -- Anthony Shriver "Poignantly discloses our nation's shortcomings, both historically and contemporarily, when it comes to understanding the mentally ill and intellectually challenged. Also reveals the dearth of research concerning the women of the Kennedy family, which pales in comparison to the body of work focused on its men... This is especially true of Rosemary Kennedy, the eldest Kennedy sister, who was lobotomised and kept from her family and the public eye for over 20 years... It was the author's aunt, Sister Paulus, who was Rosemary Kennedy's caretaker at Saint Coletta, where Rosemary was kept for many years after her lobotomy only exacerbated her intellectual and emotional challenges Koehler-Pentacoffs book offers an intimate glance at the sheltered life that Rosemary lived while her glamorous family grew in prestige and power... Heads in the welcome direction of telling the largely untold story of Rosemary Kennedy, and the story of the intellectually challenged and their allies in the fight to place them as equal members of society." -- Irish America "Anyone in the world whos interested in the famous Kennedy family will find this fascinating memoir to be essential reading. Rosemary Kennedy was the least known member of the family but, it turns out, one of the most significant in the big scheme of things. If you dont read The Missing Kennedy, you wont know a critical and enlightening part of the Kennedy story." -- Dr Abe Bortz, American Historian

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