PEAK--Kenneth R. Kenneth R. Peak, passed away Friday, the 19th of April 2013, at age 67 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Ken was the son of Harold Raymond "Dutch" and Mary Rose Peak. He was born the 17th of July 1945, in Cleves, Ohio, and grew up in nearby Frogtown. Ken was a 1963 graduate of Taylor High School and went on to earn a BS in Physics from Ohio University in 1967 and a MBA from Columbia University in 1972. He proudly served as an Officer in the United States Navy from 1968 to 1971. Ken Peak was much more than an accomplished businessman. Ken began his energy career in 1973 as a Commercial Banker in First National Bank of Chicago's energy group. His biggest success was Contango, an Oil & Gas Company that Ken started in 1999 with nothing but a desire to build a successful business for himself and his shareholders. From this idea, he built a very successful oil and gas exploration and production company, which he served as the CEO and Chairman. Prior to Contango, Ken served as a Treasurer at Tosco Corporation in 1980 and CFO at Texas International Company ('TIC') in 1982. Ken's tenure with TIC included serving as the President of TIPCO, the domestic operating subsidiary of TIC's natural gas and oil operations. Ken served as the CFO of Forest Oil Corporation from 1988 to 1989 and as an Investment Banker with Howard Weil from 1989 to 1990. He served as the President of Peak Enernomics Inc., an oil and gas consulting firm that Ken formed in 1990. Ken was also appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of AKM Enterprise Inc., NL Industries Inc., Amerac Energy Corp., and Patterson-UTI Energy. In more recent years, Ken served as the President and CEO of Contango ORE and as the Chairman of the Board for OnKure, an oncology drug company that he helped create. Besides building businesses, he built friendships that lasted a lifetime; once you were a friend of Ken's, his loyalty, good counsel, and companionship would become your biggest asset. Ken was widely known as a "character" in the business. He loved going to work and never had a bad day. He thought for himself and never had to check with others to make decisions as he instinctively knew what was right. Ken was a wise man, a lifelong learner and an avid reader of books, newspapers and economics newsletters. He was born with a funny bone and always tried to see a funny side of everything. His heart was the purest. Ken used his fortune to help others, and he never gave in a showy way. As a symbol of his generosity Ken and Donna Peak made a substantial donation to Methodist Hospital in Houston to established the Kenneth R. Peak Brain and Pituitary Tumor Treatment Center to continue the fight with brain illness. Ken was a man who chose to be happy all the time and he will be remembered as such. Ken Peak is irreplaceable. Ken is survived by his loving wife, Donna; daughter Mariclare Elko and husband, Chris; son Joe Peak; grandchildren Jack, Madeline, and Charlie Elko; sister Sandy Peak; brother Mike and wife, Jane Peak; four nieces; seven nephews; two aunts; and numerous cousins. The family asks that in lieu of flowers or other donations, a donation can be made to support the Kenneth R. Peak Brain and Pituitary Tumor Treatment Center by making a contribution to the Methodist Hospital Foundation. Donations should be sent to David Baskin, M.D. at 1656 North Blvd., Houston, TX 77006. Services in Houston are with Geo. H. Lewis & Sons-The Funeral Directors Since 1936, 713-789-3005. www.geohlewis.com.
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Published in The New York Times on Apr. 28, 2013