Kenneth Laker

Visitation at Funeral Home

3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, August 10, 2023
FitzGerald-Sommer Funeral Home
17 S. Delaware Avenue
Yardley, Pennsylvania, United States


11:00 am
Friday, August 11, 2023
Church Of St. Ignatius Loyola
980 Park Ave.
New York, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

1:00 pm
Friday, August 11, 2023
Gate Of Heaven Cemetery
10 W. Stevens Ave.
Hawthorne, New York, United States

Obituary of Kenneth R. Laker

Please share a memory of Kenneth to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.

Dr. Kenneth Robert Laker, 76, of Yardley, PA, passed away on August 2, 2023. Ken was born on September 10th, 1946. You'd never guess it, but he was born at just 3 pounds next to his twin brother Richard. Despite starting so small, his presence grew to be larger than life. His stories and laughter filled every room he entered until his passing, and he will forever fill the hearts of his family and friends, especially Mary Ellen, who he married 55 years ago. His three sons, three daughters-in-law & four grandchildren - John & Alice, Melanie and Jack, Chris & Jacqueline, Brian & Karen, Georgia and Lucia, and the extended family and friends he loved so much.


You'd never guess it, but Ken was dyslexic and struggled in school. But his resolve and perseverance (and his supportive bride to whom he always shared so much credit) got him through Manhattan College and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from NYU. He continued on to write several text books, teaching students and colleagues across the world in classrooms at Oxford, MIT, National University of Singapore, and his post for 35 years as the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He was also proud to serve as President of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), helping over 400,000 fellow members from 190+ different countries improve their shared profession. During his career, Dr. Laker started a semiconductor company, served on several corporate boards, and authored patents at Bell Labs, now AT&T. He also served his country as a Captain in the United States Air Force.


You'd never guess it, but Ken battled several illnesses since originally being treated for prostate cancer 8 years ago, but he always fully embraced life with unyielding positivity. He started painting in 2020 and loved creating watercolor masterpieces with his wife, grandchildren & art class friends.


As a serial storyteller, he was always quick to share his infectious love for movies, audiobooks, sports, music, and a great meal. He traveled near and far staying close to family and friends, while also soaking up football games, Johnny Mathis concerts & the latest box office hit, and he always looked forward to planning the next adventure with the love of his life, Mary Ellen. He was a great teacher, friend, grandpa, dad, and husband. We'll miss him so much.


May you embrace your days as fully and love as deeply in celebration of Ken Laker's wonderful life.


The funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday, August 11, 2023, at 11:00am the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola 980 Park Ave. New York, NY 10028. Interment will immediately follow at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery 10 W. Stevens Ave. Hawthorne, NY 10532. Calling hours for relatives and friends will be held on Thursday, August 10, 2023, from 3:00pm to 7:00pm at the FitzGerald-Sommer Funeral Home 17 S. Delaware Ave. Yardley, PA 19067. Condolences for the family can be left at

If you’d like to attend Ken’s funeral mass virtually, it will be live streamed here

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ken’s memory can be made to the Abramson Cancer Center or Manhattan College’s School of Engineering. 

For Abramson Cancer Center, checks should be made payable to “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania,” and mailed to Penn Medicine Development, Attn: Rhiannon Nolt, 3535 Market Street, Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

For Manhattan College, checks should be made payable to “Manhattan College“ with “In memory of Ken Laker” written in the memo line and mailed to Manhattan College Development Office, 4513 College Parkway, Riverdale, NY 10471.

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