Donald Rappaport's funeral is today. It's a private family affair. There will be a public memorial service in October. He died Friday at his home after an illness. A long-time Georgetowner, good friend to many, bon vivant, and husband of Susan, father of three, grandfather to five. Susan and Donald were familiar faces in Washington, Paris and on Martha's Vineyard. Not a bad life, dividing one's time between those three locations. He was 84-years-old.
The Rappaports entertained a lot and their dinner parties -- all their parties, for that matter -- could be counted on to be relaxed and gracious. Susan looked out for the food while Donald made certain the wines were superb. Here's one I included in my New York Social Diary column: Spring Supper at the Rappaports
Don's official obituary from The Washington Post:
Born November 21, 1926 in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Percy and Regina (Youle) Rappaport. He grew up in Montclair, New Jersey. Mr. Rappaport served three years as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer of the US Department of Education, appointed by President Clinton in 1997. Was an active board member of DC's Meridian Public Charter School and a founding member of FOCUS. Also was treasurer of the Committee for the Republic, a salon of intellectual thought and ideas.
A partner in the accounting firm Price Waterhouse & Co, from 1963 to his retirement in 1988. He joined the firm in 1949, and worked most of his career in Philadelphia, transferring to Washington in 1983, to head the firm's division serving mid-sized and growth businesses. In 1983, he received a Mayor's citation for the work he did to improve the business climate in Philadelphia. Mr. Rappaport also was chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education in the 1970s.
Before that, he was appointed by Philadelphia schools chief (and later Mayor) Richardson Dilworth as assistant superintendent for Finance. Dilworth commented that he liked the combination of a "liberal accountant" for the job.
Mr. Rappaport was an avid sailor and runner. At 80, he was the oldest participant in the 2007 Cherry Blossom 10-miler in Washington. He was a man of utmost integrity, had a zest for life, was an avid reader, traveler, intellectual.
He leaves scores of true friends in Washington, Philadelphia and Martha's Vineyard, where he summered for more than 30 years. A longtime Democrat, Mr. Rappaport worked on many local, state and national political campaigns. In the 1980s, he was budget director for the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis. He also was a member of the Democratic National Committee's small business council. He also served on a number of civic and cultural boards, lending his financial expertise to a variety of causes.
He graduated from Yale University in 1947, attending on the Navy's V-12 program. He completed two graduate degrees at University of Pennsylvania, an MA in economics in 1948 and an MBA from the Wharton School in 1949. Mr. Rappaport served his country during the Korean War as a Lt. (Jg) line officer aboard the Destroyer Henderson in Korean waters from 1950-1952.
The family suggests memorial donations to the Meridian Public Charter School, 1328 Florida Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20009.