Duane Marvin Laws

April 27, 1931March 9, 2019

Duane Marvin Laws, our amazing Father, Grandpa and Great-Grandpa, passed away at his home in Utah, surrounded by family, on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 87 years of age. He is survived by his siblings: Joyce Tobler (Clifford), Jay Laws (Dianne), Marva Laws, and Tom Laws, his sisters-in-law: Carol Halladay (Hal) and Areta Liddiard (Bruce), and also, by his loving children: Steve Laws (Terrie), Mark Laws, Sue Rumsey (Arlen), Phil Laws (Karen), John Herring, James Laws (Evan), Areta Peterson (Darren), 31 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. He was born on April 27, 1931 in Provo, Utah to Marvin R. and Eva LaVon S. Laws. Duane attended and graduated from Provo High School, where he participated on the debate team, and the track team. This is also where he met his sweetheart and future wife, JoAnn. After serving a mission to the Central States Mission, Duane and JoAnn Mitchell were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple on February 20, 1953. Duane continued his education at Brigham Young University in Provo, graduating with a Bachelors and Masters in Human Development and Family Relations. He furthered his education at Columbia University in New York City receiving his Doctorate in Family Life Education and Marriage Counseling. Duane was a respected professor and Family Sciences Dean at Brigham Young University. In 1971, he accepted a position at Eastern Michigan University. After 23 years, Duane retired from EMU with Emeritus status. Duane was also a licensed marriage and family counselor, serving for a time as a Board Member and then also as President of AMCAP (Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists). Duane was an Army veteran. He served during the Korean War as a Military Intelligence Specialist, and received the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. Duane was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. While a professor at BYU, he served as a Bishop in a student ward. In Ypsilanti, he volunteered to teach an early morning gospel study class to parents who drove their teenagers to seminary. Duane was the first Stake President of the Michigan Ann Arbor Stake and served as such for ten years. After retirement, Duane and JoAnn served a two-year Welfare Service Mission in Detroit. They also served as temple workers in the Chicago and Detroit Temples. Duane loved being an educator and he loved learning. His home office was filled with shelves and shelves of books. JoAnn was infamous for her bookstore. Between the two of them, many family members and friends received books with a hand-written inscription on the inside cover and a name embossed on the front. Duane was active in community service as well. As a youth he earned the Eagle Scout rank. His patriotism was well-known because of the American flag pins he wore. He recognized The Flag as a symbol of freedom. For his part, he delivered flyers every month to each neighborhood resident in his community watch program. He was also a volunteer proctor during elections at his local polling location. Duane also enjoyed gardening and working in the yard. He was always moving his flower bulbs around for the best showing and he planted cherry tomatoes along the driveway so anyone who walked by could have a snack. At last, he has been reunited with his eternal companion. Be well. Moroni 7:47, Isaiah 3:10


23 March

Memorial Service

11:00 am

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

941 S. Grove Road
Ypsilanti, Michigan


Duane Marvin Laws

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Stephen and Ruby Brewer and Meis

March 18, 2019

We greatly miss Duane. He was a good man, a good colleague, and a good friend. Ruby worked with Duane in the Home Economics Department at Eastern Michigan University. Duane's presence was a calm, generous, and stabilizing one during times normal and times stressful. We are honored to have known him for decades.

Bert Greene

March 15, 2019

My condolences to the family. I have known Duane for almost 50 years; he was a true gentleman. I served on several committees with Duane when we were both teaching a Eastern Michigan University. His was a life well-lived.