For all of his devotion to the law, philosophy and, specifically, jurisprudence, Robert Charles Lincoln Moffat’s eyes would light up most when he talked about music.
Moffat, 73, passed away Nov. 14 after a two-year battle with cancer. He had served as a UF law professor for more than 40 years, specializing in jurisprudence, or the science or philosophy of law.
Robert Jerry, dean of UF Levin College of Law, said his fondest memory of Moffat is from a night in April, when Jerry hosted his annual music night for faculty and students of the college.
It was Moffat’s first year attending the party, which is hosted to give colleagues and friends a chance to get together and play some music.
Moffat brought his brother, and together they sang a duet of “I’ll Fly Away,” a traditional gospel song.
Jerry recalls being taken aback with Moffat’s talent and passion for music.
“I didn’t realize he sang or played piano,” he said. “It’s a memory of Bob I’ll never forget.”
Dennis Calfee, a professor at the college and colleague of Moffat’s, said he always took time to listen and discuss ideas with colleagues.
“My memory of him is always of a person with a twinkle in his eye,” Calfee said.
He also remembered his colleague’s knack for stimulating minds.
“He was always ready to challenge you with his ideas and push you a little,” he said.
Jerry said students in his classes were extremely fond of him, and they appreciated the efforts he made, even in his final weeks, to go to class and teach.
“Professor Moffat cared deeply about his students, and took a great deal of personal satisfaction in their achievements,” Jerry wrote in a statement released Tuesday.
Moffat had been a member of the American Section of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy since 1966. He served as executive director from 1987 to 1999 and as president from 2003 to 2005.
He is survived by his son, Iain, and daughter, Kaaren.