Fiancee says Puckett wanted ashes spread on field

Updated: May 9, 2006, 2:15 AM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- The fiancee of the late Kirby Puckett says the former Minnesota Twins outfielder often told her he wanted his ashes spread over an inner-city baseball diamond.

 Kirby Puckett

Jodi Olson, who was to marry Puckett next month, told the Star Tribune of the Hall of Famer's wishes in a phone interview Monday.

Attorneys representing Puckett's children have filed a petition in Maricopa County, Ariz., where he lived at the time of his death, asking that his ashes be given to his children, Catherine and Kirby Jr. Puckett's former wife, Tonya, is listed as the petitioner in the court papers.

The petition was filed Monday after an agreement couldn't be reached over who should get the ashes, which have been kept by a Twin Cities funeral home.

Puckett, 45, died at an Arizona hospital March 6 after suffering a stroke a day earlier at his home in Scottsdale. His body was cremated after March 12 services in Wayzata and at the Metrodome.

In his 2003 will, Puckett named his children, who live in the Twin Cities with their mother, as his primary beneficiaries. But he didn't leave written instructions on what should be done with his ashes.

Puckett's children have said that they want the ashes. Five of his siblings have signed court papers saying they want the children to have them.

Olson said she has talked with the executor of Puckett's estate about dividing the ashes with Puckett's children.

"The children and his siblings do not want the ashes divided," said Bridget Logstrom, the attorney representing the children.

Olson said she is "devastated" that the issue has become so public.

She said that she "just assumed the ashes would be left with me as Kirby was going to be my husband in just 90 days." The couple, who had lived together in Arizona since November 2004, planned to marry June 24. They became engaged in October 2005.

She said that in addition to spreading some of his ashes over an inner-city baseball field, she also wanted "a small bit" to wear in a locket "so I could feel Kirby close to my heart."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press