Cover photo for Frank Robert 'Buddy' Spencer's Obituary
Frank Robert 'Buddy' Spencer Profile Photo
1931 Frank 2023

Frank Robert 'Buddy' Spencer

August 30, 1931 — May 26, 2023

Buddy Spencer passed from this life on May 26, 2023 at the age of 91, in Tulsa, OK. He left a legacy that will be remembered for generations and will be missed by many.

Frank Robert “Buddy” Spencer was born August 30th, 1931 in Barling, Arkansas to parents Benjamin Spencer and Madeline Alverson Spencer and raised in Cameron, Oklahoma. The second of five children, Buddy graduated from Cameron High School in 1949 and attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma for four years on a basketball scholarship. Buddy was a two time honorable mention all-conference player for legendary coach Bloomer Sullivan as well as the Student Senate President. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in History Education in 1953. While in college, he met his wife, Doris, married in 1953, and went on to have four children, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren. After college, he served two and half years in the United States Marine Corp and is a Korean War Veteran, being honorably discharged in 1956 at the rank of Captain.

Buddy maintained a long and successful career in the automobile business, spanning over 50 years, starting with his first dealership, Buddy Spencer Ford, in Durant, Oklahoma. He owned and operated thirteen dealerships, in three states before moving to Sallisaw in September 1995. The Spencer family currently owns and operates Blue Ribbon Auto Group in Sallisaw where Buddy was committed to the community in which he lived. He served as President of the Chamber of Commerce in both Sallisaw (and Durant). He was a recipient of the Chamber Member of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sallisaw Chamber where he still served on the Board of Directors. He was also the President of the Sallisaw Improvement Corporation and had his own namesake street in the Industrial Park for his economic, educational, and civic contributions.

Buddy’s civic life was always dedicated to creating thriving communities with great jobs. He knew that a strong education system was essential, and it became one of his passions. He won election to the Durant school board for 10 years and later served as the President. He also became President of the Oklahoma State School Board Association in 1981-1982. He was a recipient of the Oklahoma Education Association’s Award for Excellence and the OSSBA annually presents the Buddy Spencer Leadership Award in Oklahoma City. Buddy was actively involved in higher education at SOSU during his time in Durant and he was honored by his alma matter as a Distinguished Alumnus in 1982 for his many contributions to the University. He currently has a scholarship fund at Southeastern with his former coach and mentor Bloomer Sullivan that offers opportunities to athletes (another of his passions). During his years in Durant, he either helped, coached, or sponsored many youth league teams in all sports as well as athletes at Southeastern. He also supported the University of Oklahoma Athletic Department.

Buddy’s Higher Education involvement continued until his passing, with his association at Carl Albert State College. He, along with former President Dr. Joe White’s vision and many other leaders were the driving forces for Higher Education in Sallisaw where a new branch campus was established and access to a quality education was obtained by a vote of the citizens. He was a longtime member of and was serving as an Executive Trustee for the CASC Foundation. He was Chairman of the Committee for Excellence in Sallisaw where scholarship money is raised for graduating Sequoyah County seniors. With Buddy’s leadership, the committee raised over $750,000 for students and became the driver for Zoom technology fundraising that provided improved access to educational opportunities. He and his wife Doris were inducted into the Carl Albert State College Hall of Fame in 2008-2009 for their many contributions to the college and eastern Oklahoma. Most recently Buddy was inducted into the Oklahoma State Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2022 for his numerous contributions to Higher Education. Going back to his roots, Buddy also sponsored Cameron High School students to attend Carl Albert State College, offering as many as four scholarships a year to allow Cameron Students to attend college. Buddy truly lived a lifetime in support of education and his efforts have proven beneficial to much of eastern and southeastern Oklahoma.

Buddy was preceded in death by his two brothers, Ben Herbert Spencer and Jimmie Dale Spencer, and his sister Rosemary Spencer Vikander. He is survived by his wife Doris of 69 years, and sister Anita Ashley (Chuck) of Oklahoma City. He is survived by daughters Lisa Berry (Rob) of Tulsa, and Lori Irvin of Houston, Texas, and sons Robert Spencer (Stephanie) and Dwight Spencer (Cherie) both of Sallisaw. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews. We will love him always and forever – and are so grateful for his love, mentorship, and well- lived life!

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Carl Albert State College – CASC Development Foundation, 1507 South McKenna – Poteau, OK 74953 or Bloomer Sullivan & Buddy Spencer Scholarship – Southeastern Foundation, Inc., 425 W. University Blvd. – Durant, OK 74701

Funeral service will be at 10:30 AM on Monday, June 5, 2023 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. Burial will be at 1:00 PM at U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas under the direction of Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Service, Inc.

Active Pallbearers will be Colton Spencer, Grant Spencer, Culley Barragan, Riley Cummins, Daniel Maechler and Bubba Spencer.

Honorary Pallbearers will be Blue Ribbon Auto Group Family.

Visitation will be 2 – 8 pm Sunday at Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Home in Sallisaw.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Frank Robert 'Buddy' Spencer, please visit our flower store.


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