Housekeeper: Williams#039; son used father#039;s fame
INVERNESS, Fla. -- A former housekeeper for Ted Williams said the baseball great's only son forced him to sign endless memorabilia and documents that the elder Williams didn't understand.
The state also investigated charges against John Henry Williams in 1998 that Ted Williams was underfed by his son and trapped in his house, a detective said.
Kay Munday, who managed Williams' household from 1989 to 1995, said Thursday she believed John Henry took advantage of his father.
''When I was there, I saw him push many documents in front of him … he didn't know what he was signing,'' said Munday, whose husband, Bill, also worked as a companion to Williams.
Another Williams' employee, Jack Gard, who worked as a health aide for Williams between 1998 to 2000, said Williams often wasn't lucid enough to understand what papers he was signing in his later years.
Gard said he didn't know if Williams had signed papers agreeing to have his body frozen.
John Henry Williams' half sister, Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell, has accused him of having their father's body moved to Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., for deep freezing. Ferrell has said John Henry wants to preserve their father's body for possible future financial gain.
Ted Williams, the last major leaguer to bat better than .400 in a season, died Friday in Florida at 83.
The state Department of Children & Families sent an investigator to the Williams' home four years ago, said Citrus County sheriff's Detective David Wyllie, who went along.
The state worker talked to Ted Williams and determined the claims against John Henry -- filed by an aide -- were unfounded, Wyllie said. No charges were filed.
The slugger did not appear to be in physical or emotional distress, Wyllie added. The commercial-sized kitchen was well-stocked.
John Henry has not returned numerous calls for comment.
A doctor who treated the Hall of Famer at a University of Florida hospital said John Henry 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.
Gard said Williams had told him that he wanted to be cremated and have his ashes scattered with those of his dog in the Florida Keys and Fenway Park.
Another aide, Frank Brothers, who was fired by John Henry last year, said he heard the son and slugger talk about cryonics.
''John Henry said, 'We've been thinking that you ought to frozen when you die.' Ted said, 'You're crazy.' And John Henry said, 'Well, we don't have to freeze your whole body, we can just do your head.' Ted said, 'No, I don't want to be frozen. I want to be cremated. You're nuts!''.
Ferrell urged John Glenn, a former senator and astronaut who flew with Ted Williams when both were fighter pilots in the Korean War, and President Bush and his father, the former president, to help her.
''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 in a letter released Wednesday night. ''President Bush and his father need to come forward and 'work in this campaign' for your old friend -- liked he worked for you.''
Glenn did not return a phone call to his Maryland home.
Attorneys for Williams' estate plan to ask a judge to decide what should happen to the body when they file the will in Florida court by Monday.
Whether Williams specified in his will he wanted to be cremated is crucial. Alcor, on the application it gives prospective customers, said a will with provisions contrary to the ''goals of cryonics'' will invalidate any agreement with the company. The Associated Press