Joyce Heckman and Aaron Rapport
Rapport, Aaron Miller, PhD and Heckman, Joyce Ann, PhD. Aaron (October 28, 1980 - June 27, 2019) and his wife of almost ten years, Joyce (December 20, 1980 -July 24, 2019) succumbed to cancer less than one month apart. Aaron and Joyce met shortly after they began doctoral programs at the University of Minnesota, talking long into that first night together, soon falling in love, and easily becoming each other's best friend for over 13 years. They steadfastly honored their marriage vows of remaining faithful in sickness and in health from the moment Joyce was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and Aaron in 2015. They had so much more in common than their shared diagnoses: their enthusiasm for learning and teaching; their fascination with words, both enjoying competitive Scrabble and crossword puzzles and writing; witty jokes and stand-up comedy; their ability to quote from The Simpsons; football (Aaron a longtime Vikings fan and Joyce as a fan of any team quarterbacked by Peyton Manning); their interest in and avid reading about current events and the world and almost any other subject; but not Aaron's love of dark comics, graphic novels and science fiction or Joyce's love of fashion (even though Aaron was a much better dresser because of his stylish wife). They loved to travel and did so throughout the US, UK and Europe, sometimes following Joyce's - and then Aaron's - favorite band Metallica. Aaron attended The Blake School in Minneapolis, earned a BA from Northwestern University, and an MA and PhD from the University of Minnesota in political science; Joyce earned her BS from Texas Christian University, an MA from the University of California/Davis, and her PhD from the University of Minnesota's College of Apparel and Design in fashion and feminist studies. Aaron and Joyce lived in Boston while Aaron completed fellowships at Harvard and the University of Virginia; and in Atlanta, where Aaron was an assistant professor at Georgia State University and Joyce taught at the Art Institute of Atlanta. They moved to Cambridge, England, where Aaron was a Lecturer in the University of Cambridge's Department of Politics and International Studies and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College. He was awarded Cambridge's Pilkington Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2018. His book, "Waging War, Planning Peace", is a study of U.S. noncombat operations in major wars. Joyce, while she modestly referred to herself as a librarian, began as an assistant director of the newly established University of Cambridge Office of Scholarly Communication, eventually working on special projects for the department in order to encourage researchers to share their data. While both Aaron and Joyce were highly successful in their careers and esteemed by their colleagues, they will also long be remembered for their wit, their wisdom and their abiding love for each other. They had so many enduring friendships throughout their lives because of their ability to be such generous and loving friends. They will always be thought of as a perfectly matched pair who had a marriage we all aspire to have. Aaron shared their philosophy of life over lunch with one of his doctoral students who said something about only living once. Aaron responded, "You only die once; you live every day." Aaron is survived by his parents, Philip and Rebecca Rapport, and his brother Adam and his wife Emily, and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins. Joyce is survived by her parents Paul and Irene Heckman of Dalhart, TX; her sister Connie Salas and her husband Nick and their children Whitney, Stephen, Valerie and Nicolas; her brothers Mark and his wife Francine and their children Jessica and Andy; Dennis and his wife Faith and their daughter Hailey Ball; and Larry and his wife Amy and their children Paul and Sydney along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. A celebration of Aaron's life was held in Cambridge at the Corpus Christi College Chapel. There will be a memorial service for Joyce on Saturday afternoon, August 17, 2019 at the Sparkman Richardson Funeral Home in Richardson, Texas. Memorials to Aaron and/or Joyce may be made to a permanent endowment to promote scholarship and support students at Cambridge's Corpus Christi College that Joyce and Aaron's family is establishing in his name. Tax-deductible donations can be made by a check sent to Gabrielle Bennet, Executive Director, Cambridge in America, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10036. Please specify that the gift is for the 'Dr. Aaron Rapport Fund for the benefit of Corpus Christi College.' Donations may also be made by relaying credit card information and the gift amount to Cambridge in America over the phone, by fax or through the mail. For further information, call Cambridge in America at 212-984-0960.
Published on August 5, 2019
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