Archive for Thursday, July 30, 2009

Humanitarian Marilyn Laws Porter passes away

July 30, 2009

Longtime philanthropist and volunteer for the Relay for Life Marilyn Laws Porter, 72, died of cancer Monday at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Laws Porter for 15 years had been an organizer of the event that raises awareness and money for the American Cancer Society.

She was diagnosed in November 2007 with pancreatic cancer. After undergoing treatment in the spring of 2008, she was told the cancer had gone into remission, which is a rarity for pancreatic cancer patients.

“Mom was a miracle that way,” Julie Stewart said of her mother.

Stewart said what followed was a “good summer and a good fall.”

However, soon thereafter doctor’s informed Laws Porter that cancer had returned in her liver.

Stewart said her mother felt that she was given extra time on earth to accomplish “something more.”

She then entered experimental treatment and said that even if it didn’t help her, the chance that it could help someone else was good enough.

Stewart said she was thankful for the extra moments she and her family were able to spend with Laws-Porter.

“Even though she didn’t survive this, I love that we had the gift of time,” she said.

In 2001, Laws Porter was the Kansas recipient of the John Gingrich Award, which was given to the Habitat for Humanity volunteer of the year.

The Eudora Chamber of Commerce named her Person of the Year for 2005.

Laws Porter also wrote a column from 2002 to 2007 for the Eudora News.

“My mother had more energy at 72 than I will ever have in my whole life,” said Stewart. “Her energy was endless.”

Porter is survived by her husband, Tom Porter, two sons, Mark and Cord Laws; and two daughters, Julie (Laws) Stewart and Karla (Laws) Cleveland.

Visitation will be 7 p.m. Friday at St. John’s Catholic Church, 1229 Vermont St., Lawrence. Her funeral will be at

10 a.m. Saturday at the same location.

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