January of 1994 Jackie was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. (As opposed to lung or breast cancer which can spread there.) The cancer attacked her lymph nodes and immune system, and became progressively worse at a fast pace.
Her obituary summed up her last days: "spending time with her son, daughter, and grandchildren; jogging in Central Park; getting away to her estates in New Jersey, Hyannis, Mass., and on Martha's Vineyard, and going about town with Maurice Templesman, a financier who had become her closest companion."
Less than half a year after her diagnoses, Jackie passed away in her sleep- May 19th, 1994. Her son announced her death stating: "My mother died surrounded by her friends and her family and her books... the people and the things she loved. She did it in her own way, and on her own terms, and we all feel lucky for that."
Her funeral took place at the same Church she was baptized at in 1929, St. Ignatious Loyola Church in Manhattan.
"She had a wonderful sense of humor- a way of focusing on someone with total attention- and a "little girl" delight in who they were and what they were saying. It was a gift of herself that she gave others. And in spite of all her heartache and loss, she never faltered...
"She made a rare and noble contribution to the American spirit. But for us, most of all she was a magnificent wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. She graced our history. And for those of us who knew her- she graced our lives."
- Senator Edward M. Kennedy (spoken at her funeral in his eulogy) -
CAROLINE AND JOHN JR. AT THEIR MOTHER'S FUNERAL (PICTURED LEFT)