Remembering Julie Laws, lover of music, nature and neighborhood

Julie A. Laws passed away peacefully at her Berkeley home on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. She would have been 82 in November.

Born in New York, Julie moved to San Francisco upon graduating from Cornell University. After the birth of their daughter, Karen, she her husband, Richard Laws, moved to San Rafael.

Julie earned a Master’s in Library Science from UC Berkeley, worked for many years as a college librarian, and later converted the family business from paper records to an electronic database system.

Julie loved her Thousand Oaks neighborhood, with its beautiful trees and rocks. She was a big fan and regular attendee of the monthly “tree meeting” (so-called because it is held at the site of a California live oak that used to grow in the middle of the street). She belonged to a Mount Tamalpais hiking group and enthusiastically participated in their Tuesday hikes for as long as her health permitted. As a folk guitarist and aficionado of bluegrass music, she looked forward each year to attending Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park.

Julie is survived by her brother, Bruce Augustadt, her husband, Richard Laws, children Karen Laws and Kenneth Laws, son-in-law Dan Callaway, daughter-in-law Diane O’Keefe, and grandchildren Frederick Callaway, Augustine Callaway and Siena Laws.

We remember Julie’s lifelong love of music, her strength of character, her joyful spirit, and her generous heart, and we miss her dearly. A memorial service will be held for Julie at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley at 1 p.m. on Sept. 27. In Julie’s honor, please consider donating to World Wildlife Fund or the Sierra Club Foundation.