Kenneth R. Peak Peak
FUNERAL HOME
Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors
1010 Bering Drive
Houston, TX
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, both of whom predeceased him. Ken 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. Ken served as an Officer in the United States Navy from 1968 to 1971 where he worked as a Cryptologist.
Ken was a man of many accomplishments in the business world. Ken served as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Contango Ore Inc., since October 2009. Ken served as Chief Executive Officer of Contango Oil & Gas Company. He was Chairman at Contango Oil & Gas Co. since 1999 and served as President, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary from July 1999 to November 2011 and also as Chief Executive Officer from September 1999 to August 2012. He founded Contango Oil & Gas Co. in September, 1999. Before Contango, Ken served as the President at Peak Enernomics Inc., a natural gas and oil-consulting firm that he formed, since 1990. Ken began his energy career in 1973 as a Commercial Banker in First National Bank of Chicago's energy group. He served as a Treasurer at Tosco Corporation in 1980 and Chief Financial Officer 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 Chief Financial Officer of Forest Oil Corporation from 1988 to 1989 and as an investment banker with Howard Weil from 1989 to 1990. Ken was Director of Cellxion Inc. beginning on November 6, 2000. Ken served as Director at AKM Enterprise Inc., NL Industries Inc. and Contango Capital Partnership Management, LLC. He was a Director of Patterson-UTI Energy Inc a North America provider of onshore contract drilling services to exploration and production companies, beginning on November 6, 2000. He served as a Director of Amerac Energy Corp. since 1995. Ken also served on the management committee of the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio University. In addition, Ken served as the Chairman of the Board for OnKure, an oncology drug company that was founded in 2011.
Ken started Contango with nothing but a desire to build a successful business for himself and his shareholders, and from this idea built a very successful oil and gas exploration and production company. 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 a natural leader; he instilled confidence in those who worked with him and he could be counted on to do the right thing when it was most difficult. Ken was widely known as a "character" in business. Ken would always tell it like it is, preferring to just lay it all out on the line and let the chips fall where they may.
Amongst the many charitable donations that Ken made, he quietly provided generous support to Yes Prep, helping to build Yes into a system of 11 high performing schools in Houston serving over 7,000 low income children in grades 6-12.
Ken was nicknamed "Joe" by his family because he was a "good old Joe." If you knew Ken, you would not be surprised that he was the class clown and frequently was in trouble for his pranks and practical jokes. As a brother, he was caring, competitive, encouraging, and fun. As a father, he was great at doling out practical advice, instilling important life values and always reminding his children not to take life too seriously. And as an uncle, family gatherings always included wrestling matches, Monopoly, the Syndicate, Euchre, knee football, the Joe Club, nonstop teasing and laughter. There couldn't be a Peak wedding without Ken's rendition of Margaritaville. The memories, laughter and stories he left his family will be shared for years and years to come.
Ken lived life to the fullest. He loved taking trips to his lodge where he could visit with his great friend Billy Jack Corbell and spend time with family. Ken enjoyed participating in anything competitive (especially golf) with his many friends, and in his younger days played softball and basketball with a passion. He loved a good work out and a run.
But his most recent years with Donna were his best. He found his equal in love and in intellect. They laughed all day and held each other all night. Their bond in both health and in sickness was unbreakable, and their love for each other was immeasurable.
Ken's final months were spent fighting cancer, and he never gave up or quit pressing forward. His wife Donna was with him around the clock, and gave Ken the love and comfort of knowing she would always be there. Ken also had the love and support of his children, sister and brother as he battled his illness.
As a symbol of his generosity and tenacity in a fight, Ken and Donna Peak made a substantial donation to Methodist Hospital to establish the Kenneth R. Peak Brain and Pituitary Tumor Treatment Center to continue the fight with brain illness. The family would like to thank Dr. David Baskin, and the many friendly nurses and staff of Methodist Hospital of Houston for the dedication and personal attention they gave Ken over the past several months. We would also like to thank Dr. Henry Friedman of Duke University for his support and dedication. In addition, we express many thanks to Dr. Xuedong Liu of University of Colorado at Boulder for his scientific input.
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.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from four o'clock in the afternoon until eight o'clock in the evening on Tuesday, the 23rd of April, in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
The funeral service is to be conducted at ten o'clock in the morning on Wednesday, the 24th of April, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the adjacent grand foyer.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to Kenneth R. Peak Brain and Pituitary Tumor Treatment Center, Neurological Research Foundation, Attn: David Baskin, M.D., 1656 North Blvd., Houston, TX, 77006.



Published by Houston Chronicle from Apr. 21 to Apr. 22, 2013.
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55 Entries
Mr. Peak is always in our hearts and he will never be forgotten, he was such a giving and caring person if only there were more people like him this world would be a much better place he is greatly missed.
Janet Poulos
Friend
April 17, 2020
Dear Ken, You transformed our lives by introducing us to Jack, and through him to Joe and Brad. We were fortunate you didn't want the job! Your love of life, sense of fun and your faith in all of life's possibilities made you unique. We miss you. Selim and Michael
Michael Zilkha
Friend
April 15, 2020
Six years and you are missed more than words can say. We know you are in a much better place, but you leaving has left a big void in so many lives. ❤
Jackie Myers
Friend
April 15, 2019
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Janet Poulos
Friend
April 15, 2019
Kenny,
We met in Mexico over a house. But, it was your positive attitude and incredible spirit that bonded you and Jimmy as friends. Now you will meet again.
My condolences to Donna and all who love you.
Marilyn Beresford
Marilyn Beresford
May 2, 2013
Ken, you were the smartest man I ever met and loved life more than any I know. You had every opportunity to become one of the elite, but consciously chose not to. You once travelled alone for 10 hours to attend the funeral of my son. You were a friend for life and mine was enriched for having known you. RIP dear friend.
Bob Meredith
April 27, 2013
Ken, what an honor to have known you and worked with you as you built Contango. You will be missed.
Scot Trulock
April 26, 2013
God Bless you, Ken. A truly nice guy. From the early 1980's at Texas International we kept running into each other (in California, Denver, Houston, etc) and you always had the smile and the good word. I am better for having known you and the world is not so good since you are gone.
Robert Carson
April 25, 2013
I MET KEN WHEN MY LAST BOSS SOLD THIS HOUSE TO KEN FIVE YEARS AGO,HERE AT ISLA NAVIDAD COLIMA MEXICO...HE WAS A GREAT MAN AND A WONDERFUL FRIEND..I,WILL MISS THE TRIPS WITH THEIR FRIENDS,ANDY RAPP,JOE ROMANO,MR.DUNCAN,MR.JUNEAU AND MORE FRIENDS THAT HE BROUGHT TO MEXICO AND I HAD THE FORTUNE TO MEET..GOD BLEES YOU,BUDDY..REST IN PEACE...SINCERILY....YOUR MEXICO,S HOUSEKEEPER...MANNY...
jose manuel de dios
April 24, 2013
Thanks to Ken's generous financial contribution's I was able to attain my master's degree in speech language pathology. This had been a dream of mine for some time and Ken helped me achieve it. I will be forever grateful. He was a wonderful friend also to my Pappaw Billy Jack, and I personally am so glad to have known Ken. Love and prayers of comfort to the family.
Kelly Fisher
April 24, 2013

We pray that the Peak family will find comfort and peace during this most difficult time. Celebrate the great contributions that Kenny made and the wonderful memories that he has left behind.

Gary and Yvette Kilgore
Gary Kilgore
April 24, 2013
I worked for Contango for several years as a field representative and had the opportunity to watch Contango grow and prosper under Ken's guidance. He was a genuinely nice guy who was easy to talk to and he made you feel good about your work. I appreciated the time that I had with Contango and appreciated Ken's vision and demeanor. To his family my sincerest condolences for your loss
Joe Way
April 24, 2013

when you lose someone it can be hard to take
the pain that you feel when your heart has to break
the memories you keep are all in your mind
as you search your soul for more to find ..........
Reza & Shadi Sarvi
April 24, 2013
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Reza Sarvi
April 24, 2013
Memphis Tn will miss you.
Roosevelt Terrell
April 24, 2013
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
Roosevelt Terrell
April 24, 2013
Dear Ken,
It was such a pleasure helping you start Contango. Your optimism and vision created a great company and even greater friendships. I will miss your energy and spirit in this world.
Glenn Dillon - Shepherd, TX
April 24, 2013
Ken always had time to meet with me when I wanted to get his opinion on something. He was always a great friend to me.
John White
April 23, 2013
Mr. Peak
Will be greatly missed it was an honor to have known him. A wonderful person a true humanitarian. Heaven has one more angel.
Dario & Janet
April 23, 2013
Mr. Peak
Only Knew you for 3 years, hands down you are the best person I have ever known.
I will never forget you. I love you sir, and I will miss you.
Mr. Peak I will see to it that Mrs. Peak's Range Rover will always be washed and detailed.
Dario
April 23, 2013
Ken, you were full of energy and life. Thank you for being such a good friend and part of our Family. Rest in peace.
Burak Berilgen
April 23, 2013
I was saddened to hear of Ken's passing. I met him when I worked for Freeport LNG and he was a great friend of Charles Reimer, the President. He was always entertaining and obviously very very intelligent. He always came in "unusual" outfits to our parties but that just showed his individualism. He will be greatly missed but has left an incredible legacy to Methodist Hospital. What a star!
Angela Hall
April 23, 2013
Ken, thank you for your years of friendship to my Father. Charles is going to miss you dearly...as will I with the stories that were shared.
amy reimer
April 23, 2013
Mary Scott
April 23, 2013
I'm very saddened to learn of Ken's passing. I was fortunate to work with Ken in a number of ways over the years and he was a true orginal for whom I had the highest respect. He was fun and challenging at the same time and it was impossible not to be affected by him. The world is a lesser place without him.
Mark Warner
April 23, 2013
Ken was always gracious toward me. He (Contango) was one of my first customers as a young energy banker. I admired his intellect and his comfort in being himself regardless of the situation. May God's peace give you comfort during this time of grief.
JG
April 23, 2013
God sends down His love on the wings of a Dove
April 23, 2013
Deepest sympathy to the many that cared about Ken. Special hugs to Susan and Joe. Wishing you comfort and peace. Sending love.
Kaye Ferrell
April 23, 2013
My sympathy to Kenneth's family. I did not know him but he certainly was a remarkable man. My mother, who is 87, is curious if Kenneth's grandfather is Cleveland Peak. My maternal grandmother is Artie Peak Keith and she had two brothers, Cleveland and Claude. We live on the west side of Cincinnati which is very close to Cleves. Also Artie moved to Houston to be with several of her other children. All are now deceased. Artie still has at least two grandchildren living in Houston.
Again my deepest sympathies.
Paula Korte Meyer
April 22, 2013
I will alway remember how good u were to my daughter Joey. When she was at Rice. And how u always made us laugh. We will miss you.. The Favaloro family...
April 22, 2013
I will always remember all the basketball games we won versus Mike and my brother Bob.
Dan & Kathy (Peak) Gerwin
April 22, 2013
I met Ken here at 3700 Buffalo Speedway in 2001; he was very friendly and a constant funnyman when we saw each other. He always treated me with kindness . He was my favorite person at the facility where I work as a Security Officer. Just know him as brought enrichment into my life. I will truly miss him. My prayers and love go out to all his family in this time of loss. I know he is in heaven making all the angels laugh as he flies around and make jokes. Rest in Peace My Friend. I will truly miss you and the jokes you played on other tenants here. You are gone but will never be forgotten.
Mary Scott
April 22, 2013
I knew Ken through his brother Mike. Kristy Kay and I spent some great times with him in his East Texas hideaway.
Our prayers are with his family. He is in a better place.
Ronald Benson
April 22, 2013
I got to know Ken through his brother Mike. We had some wonderful family times with Ken at his place in East Texas that I will never forget. Kristy Kay and I will say a prayer for Ken and the whole family. I know he will be missed. Ron Benson
April 22, 2013
The Corbell family will miss you very very much!!!! The lodge and hog heaven will not be the same with you!! Love, Jesse, Shanell and Cash Ruiz
April 22, 2013
Dear Ken,
You transformed our lives and we will really miss you. You were a man of true quality and integrity.
Our heart goes out to Donna, your family and friends.
With love,
Selim and Michael Zilkha
Michael Zilkha
April 22, 2013
You were everything to me Ken! My boss, my friend, my mentor, my teacher. My family and I are eternally grateful and we will never forget you. You light our lives. You are always in my heart, and my heart is broken now.
L B
April 22, 2013
We will miss you very much! See you in Heaven!
Love,
Alex, Calvin and Angela Mazzei
April 22, 2013
Ken, Although you tell me not to, I am wearing a suit & tie to say goodbye at the service. It was a honor to have known you.
Bryan Dutt
April 22, 2013
We pray that you rest in the arms of Jesus during this time. We cherish the memories of Ken with Daddy at the lodge and Hog Heaven, and we also cherish what he meant to us. May God bless you. Craig and Denise Jordan
Craig and Denise Jordan
April 22, 2013
KENNETH will be missed by all those who knew him. my condolences to your family during this time of grief.
J L
April 22, 2013
SEMPER FI - FELLOW VETERAN
THANK YOU - FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY.
You are one of our heroes.
We will remember you always and miss you dearly.
Take your Warrior's rest for a duty well done.

I wish to extend to members of your family my deepest sympathy on their loss. May the force of GOD be with them as they walk through this difficult time.

May the loving promises of our LORD and Savior comfort them and give them strength.

On behalf of a grateful Veteran,
I leave my sympathy and hope you accept this as a small token of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service rendered by your loved one to our Country.

SEMPER FI
U. S. MARINE AND VIET NAM VET
PHIL ODOM
April 22, 2013
Ken it was a pleasure to have met you. We sure had fun singing. "Cucurrucucu Paloma" on Karaoke Nights at Jesus Home. We are going to miss YOU Buddy. Rest In Peace Our Friend.
Conce Flores
April 21, 2013
We will miss you so much!! You will always be at HogHeaven with us!!! You will never be forgotten!!! We will cherish the memories! Love you always!!! Shane & Zonia Corbell
April 21, 2013
Truly one of a kind, nothing was impossible, I'll miss you but am glad to have so many great memories of a great uncle, you made every visit memorable!
Tony Mazzei
April 21, 2013
My last visit/trip with Ken ended with him saying the trip would not have been the same without my presence. That is true Ken. Always making sure others were safe, secure & welcomed. I will miss you my friend.
April 21, 2013
Many fond memories of Kenny and my brother Bill growing up as pals on E. Miami River Rd. Our prayers are with your family.
Pat Sheckler Saupe
April 21, 2013
This obituary ALMOST does justice to what a fine person Ken was to all who had the privilege to know him. He enriched the lives of all of us who he touched.
Paul Dwyer
April 21, 2013
Ken, we will see you again in heaven. You know how much we love you, there will never be another like you. 33years of fun and enjoyment at lodge on Toledo Bent and Hogheaven hunting camp. We know you will always be with us in spirit. Sue & Billy Jaclk
April 21, 2013
He was such a great man.... He was an angel on earth, I am very honored to have meet him.
Lidia O.
April 21, 2013
I thought Ken was simply the best!! Donna your steadfast love and commitment to Ken was something beautiful. My love and prayers are with you, his children and his family.
Charity Yarborough
April 21, 2013
We treasure the memories and all the great times we enjoyed with you. You will be missed dearly, but never forgotten. Opening day of Deer Season will never never be the same. With Love, David & Jackie Myers
David & Jackie
April 21, 2013
Not just an older cousin, a friend.
Charlie Peak
April 21, 2013
Life will be a little less exciting without you in it......one of your best friends since the 2nd grade
Bob Schuh
April 21, 2013
Rest in peace, little brother. I will miss you every day. You thankfully left us with so many funny stories and wonderful memories. You were the greatest.
Sandy Peak
April 21, 2013
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