Ted Williams' Daughter Makes Plea To John Glenn, President Bush
July 11, 2002 at 4:24 PM EST - Updated July 1 at 8:55 AM
By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press Writer
INVERNESS, Fla. (AP) - Ted Williams' oldest daughter is urging former astronaut John Glenn, President Bush and his father to help stop her half brother from keeping the body of the baseball great in deep freeze.
In an open letter released Wednesday night, Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell said that her father wished to be cremated, not frozen at a cryonics lab in Arizona.
Ferrell has accused her half-brother, John Henry Williams, of having their father's body moved to Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., where bodies are frozen. Ferrell has said John Henry Williams wants to preserve their father's body for possible future financial gain.
Williams, the last major league hitter to bat better than .400 in a season, died Friday in Florida at 83.
"I need anyone and everyone, famous or not, if they have knowledge about my Daddy's wishes to be cremated to stand up and be heard at this time," Ferrell said.
She called on Glenn, a former U.S. senator from Ohio who served with Ted Williams in Korea, and President Bush and his father, former President Bush, to help.
"John Glenn appreciated my Daddy's being his wingman. I want John Glenn to come forward now and come to his friend's aid," Ferrell said. "President Bush and his father need to come forward and 'work in this campaign' for your old friend -- like he worked for you."
Kay Munday, who managed Williams' household from 1989-1995, said Thursday that she believed John Henry Williams took advantage of his father, forcing him to sign endless memorabilia and documents that the elder Williams didn't understand.
"When I was there, I saw him push many documents in front of him ... and Ted would say 'What the hell is this?' And John Henry would say, 'Don't worry,'" said Munday, whose husband, Bill, also worked as a companion to Williams. "He didn't know what he was signing."
But a doctor who treated the Hall of Famer at a University of Florida hospital said John Henry Williams wanted to freeze his father's body out of love and respect, not for financial gain.
"My sense of John was of a kid who adored his dad and would do anything and everything for him," Dr. A. Joseph Layon told The Gainesville Sun. "I never got a sense of an exploitative relationship, or that he saw his dad as a meal ticket."
Ferrell said she and her husband, Mark, had known for a year about John Henry Williams' desire to have their father's body sent to the cryonics lab after he died.
"It is unfortunate that I have been put into a corner to fight for what is right and for my father's final wishes," she said in the letter. "I too am on a final mission to save 'Ted Williams.'"
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)