Ernie Banks Dispute Ongoing Over His Remains, Report

Ernie Banks Dispute Ongoing Over His Remains, Report

Ernie Banks, the beloved Chicago Cubs great who once said he wanted to have his ashes scattered at Wrigley Field, is at the center of a battle over his remains.

Elizabeth Banks has filed a petition to prevent Regina Rice — who has filed court papers describing herself as a longtime friend of Banks, his caretaker and executor of his estate — from having Banks cremated.

“Petitioner [Elizabeth Banks] is without recourse and shall suffer irreparable damage should Regina’s desires to cremate the remains of the decedent be granted,” she wrote in documents filed Feb. 2 and obtained by the Associated Press.

Elizabeth Banks and Rice are listed as representatives of Banks’ estate on the Cook County Probate Court website.

According to Elizabeth Banks’ attorney, Howard Goldman, Banks has been buried at Graceland Cemetery, not far from Wrigley Field, where he spent his 19-year major-league career with the Cubs.

So far, Elizabeth Banks has successfully prevented the body from being cremated, Goldman said.

“Suddenly, it came up,” Goldman said of the dispute. “It’s unfortunate.”

Banks once told a local newspaper that after he died, he wanted “my ashes spread out over Wrigley Field — with the wind blowing out.”

But there was no evidence of that wish in the documents obtained by AP.

Rice, contacted by the Sun-Times, declined to comment. Her attorney did not return calls.

The court file does include a petition for divorce, signed by Banks, in which the Hall of Famer seeks to end his marriage because “irreconcilable differences have caused irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” and that Elizabeth Banks had “committed extreme and repeated acts of mental cruelty upon petitioner [Banks].”

Another document titled “Last Will and Testament” and signed by Banks on Oct.  7, 2014, says he was “in the process of finalizing divorce” from his wife and that he had appointed Rice as the executor of his will.

It appears the dispute is about more than where Banks’ body will end up.

Goldman at one point disputed the validity of the will, saying only that it was “allegedly signed” by Banks.