Originally created 07/10/02

Attorney: Ted Williams asked in will to be cremated

INVERNESS, Fla. -- Ted Williams asked in his will to be cremated and have his ashes scattered over his old fishing grounds in the Florida Keys, the lawyer for a daughter of the baseball great said Tuesday.

John Heer, attorney for Bobby-Jo Ferrell, said lawyers for Ted Williams' estate told him about the contents of the will. Heer hadn't seen the will himself.

The daughter has accused her half brother, John Henry Williams, of moving their father's body from a Florida funeral home to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., where bodies are frozen.

Ferrell says he wants to preserve their father's DNA, perhaps to sell it. John Williams has not returned repeated calls seeking comment.

The estate lawyers planned to ask a judge Tuesday or Wednesday to decide if Williams' body should be cremated or frozen, a move to try to resolve the family feud over the remains, Heer said.

Pam Price and Bill Boyles, attorneys for Williams' estate, didn't return a call seeking comment.

"All versions were consistent that he wanted to be cremated and his ashes would have been spread over the Florida Keys," Heer said from his Cleveland office.

Ted Williams was an avid angler who fished the Keys for decades. The last major leaguer to hit .400 in a season, the former Boston Red Sox star died Friday in Florida at age 83. He was to be honored Tuesday night at the All-Star game in Milwaukee.

Ferrell's husband, Mark, said Tuesday that Williams' son first proposed the idea of freezing the Hall of Famer's body more than a year ago.

Mark Ferrell also denied reports that his wife was estranged from her father. He said she had a falling out with her half brother over what to do with their father's body.

"He proposed the cryonics thing to my wife, and she went nuts and said, 'You're not going to do it to my dad,"' he said. "There was no estrangement between Ted and his daughter. The estrangement was caused by the cryonics issue in June 2001, and it was caused by John Henry, not Ted Williams."

Williams and his daughter lived just miles apart but had not seen each other since August, Heer said.

Bobby-Jo Ferrell didn't immediately return a call for comment Tuesday. But in an interview with The Associated Press last Saturday, she said, "John Henry is trying to make money off my father's dead body, and I'm not going to be quiet any more."

Karla Steen, a spokeswoman for Alcor, would not confirm whether Williams' body was at the facility. Ferrell has said she was told by the funeral home that the body had been taken to Arizona.


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