NORMAN — Norman attorney Robert L. “Buddy” Pendarvis, one of the longest practicing attorneys in Cleveland County, died Friday at age 85 after a brief illness.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, March 28, at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church with Havenbrook Funeral Home in charge of the service. The family will receive visitors after the service in the church’s atrium.
“The Norman community and the legal community have lost one of our historic, great leaders,” said Bill Hetherington, a former Cleveland County district judge and now a judge on the state Court of Civil Appeals. “I always looked forward to Buddy being in my courtroom because I knew he was going to be prepared and represent his clients aggressively in a very civil and professional way.”
Hetherington said Pendarvis was a mentor for him when he began practicing law in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Norman and then later when he was appointed to the bench. Pendarvis was a longtime liaison between local attorneys and judges.
“I will remember him and hope his family will remember him as the respected and trusted leader that he was. He had a tremendous ability to guide, mold and lead our legal community leaders that many times had diverse interests,” Hetherington said. “I cannot remember anyone — no matter their interest — that ever had an ill word or anything but a kind word about Buddy’s leadership.”
Among his longtime clients was the Norman Public School district and its board members. Norman Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano said Pendarvis’ advice and counsel was thoughtful and always aimed at the best interests of the student.
“He’s going to be missed,” Siano said Saturday. “His advice was always founded in what’s best for the student. He approached it much more from an educator mission perspective. I think that’s unique today,” Siano said. “He was so much more than a legal advisor.”