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Bill Judge

Farmer, businessman and golfer

Farmer, businessman and golfer

Born: July 18, 1936; Died: December 24, 2013

Charles William Forbes Judge, known as Bill, who has died aged 77, was an Ayrshire farmer who later ran his own print business.

After graduating with a BSc in agriculture from Glasgow University, he joined his great uncle Hastie Forbes at Jameston Farm in Maidens. His entry to university had been delayed by the conflict in Malaya. Called up straight from school, he completed officer training at Eton Hall before serving with the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

At Jameston, he specialised in Ayrshire early potatoes, store lambs and beef cattle and later built up a small herd of pedigree Simmentals. The Jameston years were idyllic for him, his wife Celia and their three children. All three learned to drive tractors and help their father.

Family was all-important to Mr Judge who spent a fair chunk of his retirement organising annual family holidays, first in Perthshire, and latterly in the Algarve. But perhaps a bigger chunk of his life was devoted to his golf game. He started swinging a club as a boy in Troon and never kicked the habit. He joined Turnberry where he served as captain, and for a spell there was not a piece of silverware in the trophy cupboard that lacked his name.

In 1977, when the Open Championship re-located to Turnberry after an absence of many years, Mr Judge was appointed to the championship committee and with his R & A counterpart found himself leaving home around 4am every morning to set the pin positions for that day's play.

A scratch county golfer, he played several times a week right up to his death, despite two hip replacements and a back operation, the legacy of an equally enthusiastic earlier devotion to squash. He played for Glasgow University at both sports.

After the family moved to Ayr, he became a member of Old Prestwick, a club that was to be his golfing home for the rest of his life. He was elected a member of the 32 Club, served a term as captain, then became the club secretary for ten years, a job he loved. Latterly, he also played for the Seniors Golf Society.

He also served the local community, organising the local meals on wheels rotas for many years until the council took over the operation.

A man of consummate integrity, he put a high premium on loyalty, and was a stickler for doing things properly. Yet as everyone who encountered him would testify, he was also immensely kind and hospitable.

He is survived by his elder son Gary, wife Michelle, their children Emily and Charlie, son Steve and wife Lynne, their daughters Grace and Olivia, daughter Abigail and partner Tom, sister Sally, brother David and by Celia, his cherished wife, with whom he was planning to celebrate a golden wedding anniversary later this year.

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