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No Funeral Services Planned for Williams

July 07, 2002|From Associated Press

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — No funeral services are planned for Ted Williams, his attorney said Saturday, as a dispute arose over the plans for the remains of the baseball great.

Williams died Friday in a hospital near his home in Florida. He was 83.

"Ted Williams was a private person in life, and in death he wished to remain private," Eric Abel, Williams' attorney, said in a statement. "He did not wish to have any funeral or funeral services."

Boston Red Sox officials said Saturday they have tentatively scheduled a memorial celebration on July 22 at Fenway Park, Williams' home field for 19 seasons.

On Saturday, Williams' estranged daughter accused her half brother, John Henry Williams, of planning to cryogenically freeze their father's body and preserve his DNA, perhaps to sell in the future.

Later Saturday, Barbara Joyce Williams Ferrell told the Associated Press that she was told by a "very important person" at Hooper's Funeral Home in Inverness that her father's body had been moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., the day before.

"My father's body was put on a plane yesterday with people from Alcor," Ferrell said, referring to Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a provider of cryonics services.

"My father's body was picked up yesterday, transported to Ocala and he was accompanied by a Mr. David Hayes of Alcor to Scottsdale. All I know is that," Ferrell said. "I'm imagining they were trying to keep it quiet," she said.

"I will rescue my father's body. Me and my attorney are working on that," she said.

John Henry Williams did not return a call Saturday seeking comment on Ferrell's statements.

Dwight Hooper, vice president of the funeral home, said Saturday he could not comment on whether the body was still at the funeral home or somewhere else because Williams' family has requested privacy on the matter.

A spokeswoman for Alcor said the company would not comment.

Ferrell told the Sunday Boston Globe that a restraining order was to be filed Monday.

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