Prominent Ashland businessman and Daily Tidings columnist Lance Pugh died Sunday of liver and kidney failure. He was 61.

Prominent Ashland businessman and Daily Tidings columnist Lance Pugh died Sunday of liver and kidney failure. He was 61.

Pugh and his wife Annette came to Ashland in 1971, after graduating from UCLA, and began a four-decade career of buying, renovating and renting historic properties.

He was on the Ashland Planning Commission for nine years and was its chairman for some of that period. The Pughs renovated the Odd Fellows building on the Ashland Plaza, now home to Black Sheep, Greenleaf and Munchies restaurants, and began the restoration of the Historic Ashland Armory when it was put on the market by the Oregon National Guard.

Pugh was a longtime humor and history columnist for the Ashland Daily Tidings and compiled his essays in a book, "Essentially Ashland."

"He was kind of controversial and he really loved Ashland and wanted the best for it and its small-business people," said his wife, a real estate broker with Gateway Realty. "He was a good steward of the community."

— John Darling, for the Mail Tribune