Aaron Purmort was no ordinary guy in life, nor in death. The 35-year-old Minneapolis art director sadly lost his three-year battle with brain cancer last week, but left his family and friends smiling with an unusual (and awesome) obituary that he wrote himself with the help of his (“second”) wife Nora. In it, he outed himself as Spider-Man, plugged his high school band (The Asparagus Children) and prophesied that his young son Ralph will grow up to avenge his father’s untimely death.
The obituary ran in the Star Tribune on November 30:
Purmort, Aaron Joseph age 35, died peacefully at home on November 25 after complications from a radioactive spider bite that led to years of crime-fighting and a years long battle with a nefarious criminal named Cancer, who has plagued our society for far too long. Civilians will recognize him best as Spider-Man, and thank him for his many years of service protecting our city.
His family knew him only as a kind and mild-mannered Art Director, a designer of websites and t-shirts, and concert posters who always had the right cardigan and the right thing to say (even if it was wildly inappropriate). Aaron was known for his long, entertaining stories, which he loved to repeat often.
In high school, he was in the band The Asparagus Children, which reached critical acclaim in the northern suburbs. As an adult, he graduated from the College of Visual Arts (which also died an untimely death recently) and worked in several agencies around Minneapolis, settling in as an Interactive Associate Creative Director at Colle + McVoy. Aaron was a comic book aficionado, a pop-culture encyclopedia and always the most fun person at any party.
He is survived by his parents Bill and Kim Kuhlmeyer, father Mark Purmort (Patricia, Autumn, Aly), sisters Erika and Nicole, first wife Gwen Stefani, current wife Nora and their son Ralph, who will grow up to avenge his father’s untimely death.
A service will be held on December 3, 2014 at Shelter Studios, 721 Harding St. NE, Mpls 55413 at 6 pm.
Aaron was diagnosed with brain cancer three years ago, which inspired his wife Nora to chronicle their not-so-ordinary life together on a refreshingly honest and funny blog, My Husband’s Tumor. The tagline of the site reads, “It’s not a cancer story, it’s a love story. With some cancer.” That’s exactly what it is — and this couple is as inspiring as they come. Reading their story will make you cry (a lot) and make you laugh (a lot more) and make you want to give Nora (and son Ralphie) a big bear hug for facing both life and death so bravely, just like you’d expect from an entire family of superheroes.
If you’d like to support Aaron’s family and help with medical bills and expenses, friends have organized an online fundraiser in their name. Aaron also designed a “Still Kickin” T-shirt. Proceeds will go toward his family and the Musella Center for Brain Tumor Research.