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Feb. 2, 1938 – April 22, 2014

William Alver Purks Sr., a longtime Buffalo attorney, died April 22. He was 76.

Born in Washington, D.C., he came to Buffalo in 1959. He graduated from the University at Buffalo Law School.

He passed the bar exam on his first attempt in 1965 and immediately opened his own practice in his home on Hughes Avenue.

He had a 49-year career as a criminal defense lawyer.

He was fluent in Latin.

Mr. Purks was a founding member of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York. The association was formally organized in 1970 as the Buffalo Chapter of the National Bar Association, after years of informal association as the African American Attorneys of Color in the City of Buffalo.

His wife, Louise Chaney Purks, died in 2004.

He is survived by four daughters, Iris D., Linda, Hilary Grooms and Shakora; five sons, William A. Jr., Anthony T., Jeffrey A., Kirby V. and Cortland; three sisters, Kim, Robin and Tricia Hoffler; and several grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today in Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, 317 Leroy Ave.