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Billington, led local museum effort, dies

Wendy Alexander/Madera Tribune File Photo San Joaquin Valley Paleontology Foundation president Lori Pond and past president Grady Billington display the original Columbian Mammoth skull and tusk fragments unearthed in Fairmead in 1993 at the Fossil Discovery Center. Billington died Monday at 85.


Educator and civic activist Grady Billington died early Monday at 85.

He was a teacher, principal and school district administrator, and also helped lead the San Joaquin Valley Paleontology Foundation in the construction of the Fossil Discovery Center paleontological museum on Avenue 21 1/2 north of Madera. At the time the Fossil Discovery Center was built, he was president of the foundation.

He taught social studies at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Berenda, Dixieland and Washington elementary schools. He was the last principal at the old Berenda School.

He also was director of state and federal projects at the school district’s main office.

Mr. Billington was born in Altus, Oklahoma, Dec. 31, 1932.

Services for Mr. Billington will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the Sunset Avenue Church of Christ at the Corner of Sunset and Orchard avenues. A reception will be held at 3 p.m. at the VFW Hall, 2026 N. Granada Drive.

A full obituary for Mr. Billington will appear in the weekend Madera Tribune.

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