Stephan Kuttner, an expert in medieval canon law and a professor emeritus at the School of Law, died Aug. 12 in his home following a long illness. He was 89.
Kuttner was a member of the Boalt Hall faculty and director of the Robbins Collection from 1970 until his retirement in 1988 and continued to work and do research until 1994.
He was recognized as a leader in the discovery, interpretation and analysis of important texts and manuscripts that are key to understanding the evolution of legal systems from Roman to modern constitutional law. He was appointed by Pope Paul VI to serve on the initial Commission for the Reform of the Code of Canon Law.
Born in 1907 in Bonn, Germany, Kuttner received his law degree from Berlin University in 1931. Two years later he fled Nazi Germany for Italy, where he worked as a research fellow at the Vatican Library and taught at the Lateran University in Rome.
He came to the US in 1940 with his young family. He was a professor at Washington, D.C.'s Catholic University of America from 1940 to 1964, where a chair in canon law is named in his honor. At Yale University he was the first occupant of the T. Laurison Riggs Chair of Catholic Studies.
The author of many scholarly works, Kuttner received numerous academic awards and honors in this country and abroad. He held honorary degrees from Cambridge, Paris, Bologna and Salamanca universities and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, the Medieval Academy, L'Academie Francaise and the German order Pour le Mérite.
He leaves his wife of 63 years, Eva, and eight of their nine children: sons Ludwig, Thomas, Michael, Francis and Philip; and daughters Susanne Potts, Angela Botelho and Barbara DiCostanzo. His son Andrew died in 1969.
He is also survived by 20 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and a sister, Renate Stern. A funeral mass was held Thursday, Aug. 15.
Contributions may be made to the Visiting Nurses Association of Northern California, 1900 Powell St., Emeryville, CA 94608.