Even in death, once a Cubs fan, always a Cubs fan

SHARE Even in death, once a Cubs fan, always a Cubs fan
cubscemeteries_102516_07_64936423.jpg

Carole Vito (left) and her daughter Julie Strasser decorate the grave of Carole’s father, Frederick Marturano, at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines on Monday. | Tim Boyle / Sun-Times

The Cubs are on a hot streak that could make even the Grim Reaper smile.

Cubs-themed caskets and cremation urns have surpassed the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, according to Wallace Popravsky, sales manager for BrandMemorials, a Michigan company that makes officially licensed Major League Baseball funeral containers.

For the past two or three weeks, the Cubs have been “running very hot, outstripping the Red Sox and the Yankees and way more than the Indians,” Popravsky said Monday. “Except for a 30-mile radius around Cleveland, I’ll bet the whole country is pulling for the Cubs. We’re even offering a special on Cubs products to Illinois funeral homes right now, so they can show some Cubs pride.”

BrandMemorials reports its Cubs caskets and cremation urns are outselling all other teams. | Supplied photo

BrandMemorials reports its Cubs caskets and cremation urns are outselling all other teams. | Supplied photo

For the postmortem Cubs fan: a  cremation urn. | Supplied photo

For the postmortem Cubs fan: a cremation urn. | Supplied photo

The aluminum urns and steel caskets are decorated with the official Cubs logo — “a great way to cheer up and brighten up the funeral home,” Popravsky said.

For Cubs fanswho already have passed on to their eternal rest, relatives have been busy decking out their graves for the team’s World Series run. “W” flags are popping up at cemeteries all around Chicago.

Carole Vito stopped by All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines on Monday to decorate the grave of her father, Frederick Marturano. He died in 2007 at 91.

Carole Vito’s father, Frederick Marturano, never gave up on the Cubs. She decorated his grave at All Saints Cemetery Monday. | Family photo

Carole Vito’s father, Frederick Marturano, never gave up on the Cubs. She decorated his grave at All Saints Cemetery Monday. | Family photo

“It’s so important because he waited so long for the Cubs to win a pennant, and he never, never gave up,” Vito said.

She said that, in the 1950s, “I remember going to the ballpark with him one time when Hank Sauer hit his record-breaking home run, and he had tears in his eyes. It was so beautiful.”

Some visitors to All Saints have been making a pilgrimage to the grave of longtime Cubs announcer Harry Caray, where, the other day, someone had left a baseball and a can of Old Style inscribed: “This is the Year.”

Lou Greifenstein, 77, has been seeing more and more Caray craziness when he visits his wife Kathleen’s grave nearby.

“You hear shouts of ‘Here it is,’ ’’ said Greifenstein, a retired pharmacist from Mount Prospect. “A lot of them take pictures from behind the stone.”

Lou Greifenstein at All Saints Cemetery, where he visits his wife Kathleen’s grave. | Maureen O’Donnell / Sun-Times

Lou Greifenstein at All Saints Cemetery, where he visits his wife Kathleen’s grave. | Maureen O’Donnell / Sun-Times

Near Wrigley Field, a growing stream of people has been heading to Graceland Cemetery on Clark Street north of the ballpark to pay their respects to Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, according to Michelle Crump, associate director of the cemetery.

Visitors decorated Harry Caray’s grave at All Saints Cemetery with baseballs and beer cans. | Maureen O’Donnell/Sun-Times

Visitors decorated Harry Caray’s grave at All Saints Cemetery with baseballs and beer cans. | Maureen O’Donnell/Sun-Times

At Bohemian National Cemetery, on North Pulaski Road, “W” flags have been popping up — not surprising, perhaps, given that the cemetery has a “Cubs Fans Forever” wall, created from ballpark bricks and bedecked with Wrigley Field ivy and inscribed, “Beyond the Vines.”

“The last two or three days, we’ve had visitors here all day long,” said Rob Charlemagne, Bohemian’s caretaker.

Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside also is seeing more Cubs paraphernalia.

The “Cubs Fans Forever” wall at Bohemian National Cemetery contains the ashes of diehard Cubs fans. | Bohemian National Cemetery photo

The “Cubs Fans Forever” wall at Bohemian National Cemetery contains the ashes of diehard Cubs fans. | Bohemian National Cemetery photo

Earl Medintz lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, so he hasn’t been able to make it to the grave of his father, Sydney Medintz, at Menorah Gardens Cemetery in Broadview since the Cubs began their run to the World Series.

The father had waited all his life for a big win for his beloved Cubs. Before he died in 2008 — a century after their most recent winning World Series —the 95-year-old Rogers Park man told his family: “I can’t wait much longer.” And he left behind a final message for the Cubs in his death notice: “Go Cubs. I waited as long as I could.”

Earl Medintz, 78, a retired adman, wears his dad’s Cubs jacket every time he watches the team play and thinks about him.

“It was the one thing that kind of brought us close together,” he said. “It was something to talk about.”

Earl Medintz wears a Cubs jacket that belonged to his late father, Sydney Medintz, when he watches games. | Family photo

Earl Medintz wears a Cubs jacket that belonged to his late father, Sydney Medintz, when he watches games. | Family photo

The Latest
The officer was shot as he and a partner were getting out of an elevator in a housing complex in the 1300 block of West Taylor Street Friday morning.
After a Chicago Police officer was ambushed while responding to a domestic violence call, Mayor Lori Lightfoot had the grim statistics at her fingertips. “Domestic-related” homicides by firearm and non-fatal shootings have increased by a staggering 125 percent since 2019.
MLB
The pair were chosen under new rules that give starting spots to the top vote-getter in each league in the first phase of online voting, which began June 8 and ended Thursday.
Athanasios Zoyganeles wrote, “They are trying to remove Trump anyway they can.The people showed the government.That we will take u out if needed.”
Venice is the first city in the world putting such a system in place.