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2002/05/09

Ronald Lee "Buddy" Lytle, PRCA Wrangler Pro Official, Dies Of Leukemia Longtime member and PRCA Wrangler Pro Official Ronald Lee "Buddy" Lytle passed away at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Wednesday night after an eight-year bout with leukemia. He was 61. Lytle, who began his rodeo involvement competing as a calf roper and steer wrestler, was one of the PRCA's most respected and well-liked judges. Jack Hannum, supervisor of the Wrangler Pro Officials, called Lytle his "right-hand" man when he worked as a rodeo administrator. Lytle worked the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo nearly every year in Las Vegas as well as in Oklahoma City in the early 1980s. In 2000, Lytle became a PRCA field representative, a position created so Lytle could train future judges. Lytle also was involved in developing the PRCA rulebook. "He was a guy who believed in the sport of rodeo," said Tommy Kieth, assistant supervisor of the Wrangler Pro Officials. "He was one of the most humble guys in the business, a hard worker and a perfectionist." Lytle was active with the PRCA until his death. Despite his illness he received judging statistics and reviewed rodeo video tapes while undergoing treatment. During the most recent Wrangler NFR, Lytle called the PRCA offices to ask if he could get a copy of the nightly results so he could be informed of the action. "It was always important to him," Hannum said. "It was his life. He participated at every level." Lytle is survived by his wife of 23 years, Sue McKiever Lytle of Byhalla, Miss.; his mother, Mary Wright of Sterling, Okla.; and two sisters, Jackie Fehring of Apache, Okla., and Gail Fehring of Baytown, Texas. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at Maples Memorial United Methodist Church in Olive Branch, Tenn. Burial will follow at the Forest Hill South Cemetery on Holmes Road in Memphis. Brantley Funeral Home of Olive Branch has charge of the arrangements. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, 101 Pro Rodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, Colo., 80919, or to a charity of the donor's choice.

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