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Kenneth Lee Laws

Kenneth Lee Laws

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Kenneth Laws

Kenneth Lee Laws, 86, died at his home in Carlisle on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 from complications related to Parkinson’s Disease.

Ken was born in Pasadena, California on May 30, 1935. After high school he studied physics, receiving a bachelor’s degree from the California Institute of Technology, a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College. In 1965, he married Priscilla Watson, a fellow graduate student at Bryn Mawr. Ken spent his career teaching in the Physics department at Dickinson College.

When his children began ballet classes, Ken became involved with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. He took classes, performed, taught, and served on the board. He authored several books on the physics of ballet and lectured on the topic in the US and internationally.

He was also an accomplished improvisational musician who played piano, guitar, and drums and always enjoyed making live music with his friends and family. Ken was also a long-time member of the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley, a community he treasured.

He is survived by his wife, Priscilla, his older sister Bonnie Smith, and his two children Kevin Laws, born in 1968 and Virginia Laws Jackson, born in 1970.

All are welcome at a memorial service and reception that will be held on the Dickinson College campus June 19th at 3 pm. Please RSVP online at (or email with an attendee count and whether you will be in-person or online). This will allow the venue to set up safely per CDC guidance. The service will also be streamed online for those who cannot attend in person. The exact location and instructions for streaming will be provided to those that RSVP.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet ( in Ken’s honor.

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