Living Life Joyously
When Sareve Dukat, at age 20, resolved to marry her high school sweetheart, Joel Shapiro, there was no talking her out of it ‹ not even by her mother, who thought she was too young. The other day, Mr. Shapiro recalled his wife's response to her mother this way: "She said, 'You have a choice: Either I will hide his socks when you come to visit, or we will get married.' "
Ms. Dukat, 53, was an opinionated woman. She knew what she liked and she went for it. She worshiped Mickey Mantle. (Her husband's preference for Sandy Koufax did not change her mind.) Early mornings, at least twice a week, she walked her "aerobics walk" along Riverside Park. On weekends, she walked along the beach at the family's summer home on Long Beach, on Long Island, solving "the problems of the world," her husband said. She loved to travel. She went to every sports event she could.
And not a week went by that she did not go to the theater, usually with a colleague, Jon Schlissel. They worked for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, on the 87th floor of 2 World Trade Center.
As Mr. Shapiro put it, "She was committed to living her life joyously."
She was also committed to him: they stayed married for 33 years. "She was and is my emotional core," Mr. Shapiro said. "Now there's this void that someone described as a toothache of the heart. It isn't always a sharp pain. But it never goes away."
Published in New York Times on Oct. 22, 2001.