Ivana Trump, the first wife of former President Donald Trump, passed away in July 2022 at age 73. Rather than being buried at a traditional cemetery, Ivana was laid to rest at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. This unusual burial location prompted questions and controversy. This article delves into Ivana’s life and the reasons behind her burial at a golf course.
Background on Ivana Trump
- Ivana Zelnickova was born in Czechoslovakia in 1949 and moved to Canada as a model in the 1970s.
- She married Donald Trump in 1977 and served as Vice President of Interior Design for the Trump Organization.
- Ivana and Donald had 3 children together – Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump.
- The couple divorced in 1992 amidst Donald’s affair with Marla Maples in a major media scandal.
- Ivana maintained fame as a socialite and celebrity in New York City for decades after ().
- She passed away at her Manhattan townhouse in July 2022 at age 73.
Tradition of Burial at Golf Courses
- Burials at golf courses have grown in popularity in recent years. Approximately 30,000 people are interred at U.S. golf courses ().
- Benefits include beautiful scenery, ample land, and lower costs compared to overcrowded cemeteries.
- Courses market the practice as an easier way to visit deceased loved ones while playing a round of golf.
- However, some argue golf course burials are unseemly and disrupt the recreational purpose of courses ().
Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ
- The Trump National course is located about 1 hour west of New York City in suburban New Jersey.
- Donald Trump purchased the historic property in 2002 and renovated it into an exclusive, members-only golf club ().
- The luxury club covers over 500 acres and includes guest cottages, pools, restaurants, and other high-end amenities.
- Trump himself frequently spends summer weekends residing at the club away from the heat of Florida.
Reasons for Ivana’s Burial at the Golf Course
Ivana Specifically Requested It
- According to her ex-husband Donald Trump, Ivana directly asked to be buried at Bedminster in her will ().
- Trump stated that Ivana loved spending time at the New Jersey club and was honored to be laid to rest there.
Prior Trump Family Burials
- Trump’s parents and brother were previously buried in a small family plot at the Bedminster club ().
- Given those family connections, the club was a logical choice for Ivana’s burial location.
Convenience for Donald Trump
- Choosing Bedminster avoided logistical difficulties of coordinating burial in New York where Ivana lived ().
- Being buried at a Trump property will also facilitate visits from Donald when he is staying at the club.
Prestige of Exclusive Club
- As a longtime elite New York socialite, Ivana Trump expressed a wish for an upscale resting place reflecting her lifestyle ().
- The ornate Trump club provided a distinguished setting befitting Ivana’s values of wealth and status.
Controversies Over Burial Site
Issue of Propriety
- Some criticized the golf course burial as tacky and inappropriate given the recreational nature of the location ().
- Holding a grave site at a private club seems at odds with most conceptions of traditional burial grounds.
Potential Business Motives
- Because it is part of Trump’s business assets rather than a cemetery, there is speculation that it may allow tax deductions related to Ivana’s death ().
- Additionally, the high-profile burial could increase the club’s prestige and business value.
Accessibility to Public
- While family will have access to Ivana’s gravesite, some note that standard cemetery visitation rights do not apply at the private club ().
- The public cannot freely pay respects without membership or guest access to the course.
Ivana Trump’s burial at the Bedminster golf course reflects her affluent lifestyle and direct wishes. But the unconventional location raises issues concerning propriety, business motives, and access for the general public. The selective, exclusive nature of the club contrasts with most burial grounds but provides privacy for the Trump family. The site encapsulates both Ivana’s prominent yet controversial place in American culture and history.
- Town and Country Magazine. “A Complete History of Ivana Trump’s Life in the Spotlight” https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/money-and-power/a40346160/ivana-trump-history-and-facts/
- Golfweek. “Where you can be buried on a golf course” https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2019/10/02/where-you-can-be-buried-on-a-golf-course/
- AZ Central. “Loved ones tee off from cemeteries at Arizona golf courses. Is that allowed?” https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale-history/2022/07/22/cremated-remains-golf-balls-allowed-arizona-courses/10119469002/
- Bloomberg. “Trump Brings Push for Luxury Golf to New Jersey” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2004-10-14/trump-brings-push-for-luxury-golf-to-new-jersey
- New York Post. “Ivana Trump wanted to be buried at Bedminster golf course to be near kids: friend” https://nypost.com/2022/07/26/ivana-trump-wanted-to-be-buried-at-bedminster-golf-course-near-kids-friend/
- Business Insider. “Here’s who else is buried alongside Ivana Trump at one of the former president’s golf courses” https://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-family-members-buried-bedminster-golf-course-2022-8
- People. “Donald Trump Buries Ex-Wife Ivana at His N.J. Golf Course — ‘A Very Prominent Place,’ Says Insider” https://people.com/politics/donald-trump-buries-ex-wife-ivana-trump-new-jersey-golf-course-cemetery/
- Salon. “Ivana Trump’s golf course burial: Even in death the former debutante craved an elite status symbol” https://www.salon.com/2022/07/26/ivanas-golf-course-burial-even-in-death-the-former-debutante-craved-an-elite-status-symbol/
- Slate. “Burying His Ex-Wife at His Golf Course Is Peak Trump” https://slate.com/business/2022/07/ivana-trump-burial-bedminster-golf-course-problem.html
- Forbes. “Here’s Where Ivana Trump Will Be Buried” https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisakim/2022/07/15/heres-where-ivana-trump-will-be-buried/?sh=4b2bd2c31ce4
- Los Angeles Times. “Are cemeteries a waste of space? Some see green life in death” https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2010-oct-31-la-me-graveyards-20101031-story.html
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