NORMAN — Robert L. “Buddy” Pendarvis, 85, of Norman, passed away Friday, March 21, 2014. Buddy was born March 9, 1929, at home in Barnsdall to William and Letha (Thompson) Pendarvis.
He grew up in Barnsdall with his older brother, Billy. He came to Norman in 1947 to attend the University of Oklahoma on a National American Legion Scholarship. In the years following World War II, ROTC was a required activity for men on campus. Having attained the rank of cadet colonel when he graduated in 1951, he entered the Army and soon found himself in a foxhole in Korea as a forward observer in the Army field artillery. He proudly and honorably served his country.
It was during his three-year military service that he participated in prosecutions in courts martial and got interested in law. He returned to Norman and law school, graduating in January 1957. In those days, a graduate could practice law under a temporary permit issued by the State Supreme Court before taking the bar exam. He secured the permit and went to work with Hez Bussey as assistant county attorney. The two of them were the county’s entire legal staff. When Bussey left to become a Court of Criminal Appeals judge, Buddy was elected county attorney without an opponent.
Buddy’s career in prosecution ended in 1962 when he joined the well-established father-son law firm of Luttrell and Luttrell, an association that lasted for nearly 30 years. Gary Rawlinson became a partner, and after the death of Jack Luttrell, the firm merged with Crowe and Dunlevy in 1991. His law practice was a very general law practice, which included defense work on criminal cases, civil litigation, accidents, real estate, divorce work, all facets of law.
Buddy worked closely with partner, Jack Luttrell, who was the attorney for Norman Public Schools, and he developed an expertise in school law, work that earned him national recognition. Luttrell passed away in 1991, and Buddy assumed Norman Public Schools as a client. He loved serving Norman Public Schools, and Buddy was recognized as one of the best attorneys practicing education law in the United States.