IADC said goodbye to one of their own. Long-time IADC veteran, Kenneth L. Fischer passed away after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Ken served 22 years at IADC. This is how he viewed his career: one of service. That was Ken’s guiding philosophy in his role as Vice President of International Development. Endlessly curious, Ken became a student of the many different cultures he encountered. Ken wanted to understand the way other people and other cultures viewed things, which is one of the reasons he left such an impact across the 54 countries he visited representing the mission and vision of international drilling industry and its Association.
“I believe Ken’s ability to connect with people, both on a professional and personal level, is what people will remember him most for,” said Jason McFarland, long-time friend and current IADC President. “He always had an open ear and an open mind to listen to, and receive, what others had to say. I think that’s one of the attributes that made engaging with Ken so rewarding and made forging a friendship with him so effortless.”
When he wasn’t traveling the globe on IADC business, Ken resided on his ranch in Gonzales, Texas with his wife of 39 years, Jackie Fischer. Presumed at first glance to be the stereotypical “lean, tall Texan cowboy,” Ken surprised the people he encountered and befriended. The genuine ease with which he related to people allowed him to become a great mentor and friend to many.
Ken represented the best of IADC. Before he joined the Association, he gained 17 years of broad drilling industry experience, particularly in operations, administration, and contracts. In supervisory positions and as vice president, he worked for the likes of Cinco Drilling and South Texas Drilling.
Ken put IADC Members first and held a deep-rooted belief in servant leadership. Acting as liaison with Middle East and African Members, and various IADC Chapters and Committees, afforded Ken the opportunity to share his knowledge and experience as he assisted with various IADC programs, membership, conferences, and publications. His perspective both as an industry professional as well as a leader within IADC’s staff provided him the insight to guide that work.
Ken retired with Jackie to enjoy ranch life in Gonzales, doing the “cowboy things” most people presumed about him from the beginning. He enjoyed traveling, horses, music, and cowboy poetry. He also enjoyed helping others and made many trips with Jackie in 2015 to Wimberly, Texas to assist families impacted by flooding. Ken and Jackie also helped numerous individuals along the Texas coastline following Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
“Knowing Ken across the years has made my journey a richer, more meaningful experience. He was humble and self-deprecating when he wanted to be, but he had a special, very interesting sense of humor. I never tired of his company whether in Doha, Amsterdam, Rio, or Houston. He represented IADC and the Members as though they were all family – which they were to him. One of his legacy contributions was circulating some years ago an article about the rules governing purpose of non-profit organizations which today remains our guiding principle for serving the Members of IADC. I miss him personally and professionally,” said long-time IADC colleague, Bob Warren.
Consistent with his desire to help others, and so that medical experts might learn more about Neuroendocrine Tumors, the rare form of cancer against which he fought, Ken donated his body to the University of Texas Medical School in Houston.
A celebration of Ken’s life and his burial will take place at a later date at Fischer Cemetery, in Fischer, Texas.
Donations may be made in Ken’s memory to the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation or MD Anderson Cancer Center.