John Billings, the longtime owner of the 140-acre Billings Farm at the north edge of Ashland, is dead at 97.

John Billings, the longtime owner of the 140-acre Billings Farm at the north edge of Ashland, is dead at 97.

Billings died Wednesday afternoon after several months on hospice care.

Known by many for his efforts to have a championship-caliber golf course built on his farmland, Billings also was a 62-year member of the Ashland Rotary Club with perfect attendance, a former Ashland Planning Commission member and active in his church, friends and family members say.

"Dad was such a fantastic guy," said Mary Billings, one of his four children. "He really wanted to do all he could for his community."

A public memorial service is set at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at First United Methodist Church, 175 N. Main St.

In addition to Mary Billings, John Billings is survived by his three other children, Stan, Tim and Ginny Billings.

— Ashland Daily Tidings