Rolf Edward Sartorius passed away on January 15, 2014, at age 74. He was born on August 25, 1939 in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. He attended Montclair High School and the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He met his future wife and love of his life Catherine (Kay) McCormick in Montclair while attending college. As a Woodrow Wilson Scholar Rolf earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Princeton University at age 25. At Princeton he established his lifelong interests in philosophy of law, political philosophy and applied ethics. He went on to teach and to publish extensively in these areas becoming a leading political and moral philosopher. Though not a religious man, he experimented with and lived by different ethical traditions, including utilitarianism and libertarianism. He was proud of living a moral life. He taught at Wayne State University (1964-1966), Case Western Reserve (1966-69) and the University of Minnesota (1969-1984). He was the author of Individual Conduct and Social Norms and numerous journal articles, editor of several volumes of philosophical papers and was invited to address many conferences on political philosophy. Rolf, Kay and their two children, Rolf Jr. and Barbara, made Minneapolis their home in 1969 where they enjoyed life by Lake Harriet in the center of the city and spending many weekends and summers together at Lutsen, Minnesota on the North Shore of Lake Superior. While on sabbatical in 1972-73 the family enjoyed a tremendous adventure together in Cuernavaca, Mexico and explored Mexico and Guatemala in their VW van. The family also lived in Santa Barbara California for several summers while Rolf was a visiting scholar at the Reason Foundation. Rolf and Kay retired to Hilton Head in 1988 after traveling in East Africa and Europe. In Hilton Head they enjoyed an active lifestyle with friends, worldwide travels, many visits from their kids and grandkids and an annual summer trip to Lutsen. Rolf was also a serious stamp collector and ship modeler. Rolf was a devoted husband and father and was most proud of his 53 year marriage to Kay and his two children. Rolf is survived by Kay, his son Rolf Jr. and wife Patricia Hanscom-Sartorius, daughter Barbara and husband Mark Bjelland, and grandchildren Devin, Caroline, Camilla and Rolf Jacob. Rolf Edward will be loved and missed always! The family will have a private gathering in Shipyard Plantation on Sunday, January 19th.
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Published in The Island Packet from Jan. 18 to Feb. 18, 2014