Graveside inurnment services with full military honors for William Biklen Pendleton will be at 3 pm Monday, Aug. 1, 2016, at Oak Hill Cemetery.
William Biklen Pendleton, of Lawrence, KS died May 15, 2015, at Pioneer Ridge Assisted Living.
Born in Lawrence on October 12, 1920, William (usually known as Bill) was the first son and second child of William Henly Pendleton, Jr., and Marie Biklen Pendleton, both of Lawrence. Bill was predeceased by sister Barbara M. Gilfillan, brother Albert Biklen Pendleton, wife Edith Cottom Pendleton, and son Martin William Pendleton.
Bill is survived by his son Stephen H. Pendleton and companion Cathy Ricketts of Escondido, CA; daughter Helen E. “Hendle” Rumbaut and husband Michael Ambrose of Austin, TX; granddaughter Sasha M. Willingham, husband Jimmie Willingham, and great-grandson Charles A. Clark, all of Leander, TX; sister-in-law Lorita Pendleton, of Lawrence; nephews James B. Pendleton and wife Barbara, of Germantown, TN; John C. Pendleton and wife Karen, of Lawrence; A. Scott Pendleton and wife Cindy, of Orlando, FL; David Gilfillan and wife Sue, of Philadelphia, PA; and Bruce Gilfillan and wife Val, of New Port Richey, FL.
In 1958 he married Edith Cottom Livingston and adopted her two children, Stephen and Helen. He and Edith had a son, Martin William Pendleton, in 1959. Martin and his mother died in 1974 in an automobile collision.
Bill had deep historical ties to his native Lawrence. His great-grandfather, Theodore Poehler, was mayor in 1885. Theodore owned the Poehler Mercantile Company with warehouse and offices on East 8th Street (now the Poehler Loft Apartments); his name is still visible on the east side of the four-story brick building. Bill’s grandfather and father operated the Kaw Valley Cannery, located on East 10th Street, on premises currently owned by Allen Press. Bill worked summers in the cannery and learned many jobs, from gluing cardboard boxes to working in the cook room where steam was used for cooking, as well as in the operation of a hoist.
Bill attended Liberty Memorial High School in Lawrence and graduated from Shattuck School in Faribault, MN in 1939. He enrolled at the University of Kansas that year and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
He served in the U.S. Army from June 1942 to March 1946. He saw service as a Lieutenant in the 593rd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment (amphibious engineers), which operated LCM landing craft, in New Guinea and Borneo. His unit was attached to the Australian 6th Division for the invasion of Borneo.
After the war Bill resumed his studies at KU and graduated with an AB in economics in 1946. He then worked for three years in the accounting department of the Link Belt Company of San Francisco, CA. Returning to Lawrence in 1949, Bill farmed with his brother Albert until 1954, when he enrolled in the University of Kansas School of Law. He received his JD (LLB) in June 1957 and opened his law office on July 1, 1957, in the Jayhawker Theater Building (now Liberty Hall). In 1959 he moved to new quarters in the Lawrence National Bank building at 647 Massachusetts Street. Two more attorneys subsequently joined the firm, and the office was moved to 1031 Vermont Street in 2004. Bill retired from the practice of law in 2009. He continued to farm acreage south of the Wakarusa River until his death.
He served as judge of the Municipal Court of Lawrence from 1959 to 1967. At that time the bench was a part-time position, and he maintained his law practice while taking care of court matters. Bill was a member of the Douglas County Bar Association and served as its president in 1981.
Bill was a member of the KU Chancellors Club and of the Elizabeth M. Watkins Society and received the James Woods Green Medallion from the KU School of Law. He was formerly on the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church and served as its treasurer in the 1960s. He was a member of the Lawrence Breakfast Optimist Club for 58 years, receiving the Optimist of the Year award in 1992 and again in 1997.
Bill’s many interests included the collection of one-cylinder antique engines (“hit and miss”), which were used on farms and in oil fields and factories. He was a member of the Midland Railway Historical Association, which operates trains on the old right-of-way of the Santa Fe Railroad from Baldwin City to Ottawa Junction. He was involved with the acquisition of track equipment and served as a director on the Midland Railway Historical Foundation. He owned a Fairmont Inspection Car (section putt-putt), which he enjoyed taking out for rail excursions. He volunteered his time at various organizations, including the Heartland Medical Clinic at the Leo Center and Friends of Hidden Valley, and was a member of the American Legion. Bill held an Amateur Radio license (ham) and qualified for the “General” class license. He enjoyed traveling and rode steam trains around the world, including excursions in South Africa, Europe, and Cuba.
A memorial service, without the Order for the Burial of the Dead or Communion, will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church at a date and time to be announced. The body was donated for medical research.
The family suggests that memorial gifts be given to the American Legion, Dorsey-Liberty Post 14, Lawrence; Trinity Episcopal Church, Lawrence; or the Midland Historical Railway Association, Baldwin City, all c/o Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.