My friend Rollie recently passed away at the age of 68. We met in high school, Roosevelt Class of 67′. We did not know each other before high school. In getting to know Rollie he at first was puzzling. He wasn’t someone seeking popularity or leadership–he was just a natural. Clearly one of the most clever and engaging men I have had the privilege to know. A brilliant lawyer, clergy and later a judge the sky was the limit for Rollie. He could command a room with personality and humor–I so admired him.
We double dated to the Senior Prom. We were the editors of the Roosevelt underground newspaper, the Sub-Standard, together with Peter Agre and Jim Hauser. We skewered the powerful with whatever we could get away with. And it was always funny.
Once Rollie went on the bench I saw him less but when we got together he was terrific. One time he hosted the entire German youth choir at the Court of Appeals, sharing with them our American justice system that had the kids full of questions–like is there really a presumption of innocence in America?
Diabetes did Rollie in. He left a partner and four sons. Some who knew Rollie will only remember his fall from grace as he committed a theft of client funds when acting as a fiduciary. He served his time. He paid his debt. He is forgiven and he will be greatly missed.