Joan Harcourt

A note from Joan

Many thanks to all who have sent condolences to me and to the family sharing memories of Geoff. The love and support of so many is a great comfort to us. Geoff was a loving and generous husband. As I have always said, he made me laugh and helped me make up my mind. Both are true but perhaps the best decision he helped me make was to marry him!

His death leaves a big gap. We had been married for over 66 years so I have many happy memories and feel blessed.

Geoff cared for people even when they held very different views from him. I remember during the Vietnam war days he could have a heated argument with someone before dinner, then afterwards , when peace was restored, invite him to lunch the next day. When he was on the Council of the Senate of Cambridge University, I was told that he would often diffuse tension by a phrase or joke.

We have had many letters from colleagues and friends writing that he helped them at critical times in their lives and often expressing affection for him. I think Geoff’s interest and affection brought out the best in people including me!

I look forward attending with family, the memorial service for Geoff to be held at Jesus College Chapel on 11June at 2 pm. I look forward also to the launch of the Fiftieth Anniversary edition of Geoff’s ‘Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital’.

Love Joan

Joan and Geoff are a love story that is hard to match. They are life-long companions sharing 67 wonderful years together. Joan has been the woman behind the man. Her deep love, friendship, care, and respect for Geoff has supported him in all areas of life. They have had four children together, made homes and built friendships in many places, living and traveling around the world. Joan has always provided unbounded love and support for Geoff, their family and friends. She supported Geoff as a librarian which enabled him to do his graduate studies at Kings College. Joan in her late 80’s, as Geoff’s primary caregiver, zips around in her little yellow car, and with help from all their children, keeps life in their home vibrant and fulfilling.

Joan fully enjoys the sociability that being married to Geoff entails. Like Geoff, she is always up for fun, travel and holidays. She is as politically committed as Geoff to many causes, as well as a gracious host (and great cook). At the same time, Joan has been a feminist trail blazer. She ran for the Upper House of the State Parliament, retrained as a psychologist and teacher, became a counsellor, and ran intercultural workshops in Cambridge, and when they returned to Australia, in Sydney and Melbourne. 

Joan and Geoff started their story in Melbourne, where they met when attending Melbourne University. After marrying in 1955 they began their travels – beginning as newlyweds in Cambridge then onto Adelaide with brief stints in Tokyo (a memorable few months for Joan taking care of four rowdy children in a traditional Japanese house with paper doors!) and Toronto (twice) and back to Cambridge before retiring in Sydney Australia to be near three of their children and two of their grandchildren. 

Their beautiful story, told in their own words, can be found here.