obituary header
Welcome to the memorial page for

Kenneth V. Fiske

April 18, 1925 ~ December 20, 2017 (age 92)

Share using:         

Kenneth Van Dyne Fiske, 92, of Woodstock, Illinois, passed away peacefully December 20, 2017, at his home, the Cold Springs Schoolhouse.  He was born on April 18, 1925 in Chicago to Kenneth M. and Eunice (Van Dyne) Fiske.

Ken graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and served with the US Navy during World War II.  Upon completing his service (Lieutenant Junior Grade), he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Agricultural Engineering.  He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and the Wisconsin Agricultural Alumni Association.

In 1954, he married Darlene Sharp of Chicago and moved into the Cold Springs Schoolhouse, where they lived from their marriage until his passing.

Upon his return to McHenry County, Ken worked in Chicago as a television producer at NBC, creating the show “Out on the Farm” (which included the first live color remote broadcast).  He then went on to work with the National Safety Council, Velsicol Chemical Company, and was a founder of the Northeast Illinois Natural Resource Center based at the Morton Arboretum.  In 1971, he became the first Executive Director of the newly-formed McHenry County Conservation District.  He retired to form his conservation consulting firm, Conservation Services, with his wife, and the pair traveled all over the world tracking and creating inventories of birds and plants, and eradicating invasive plant species.  The team worked with the Hawaii Nature Conservancy, the US Fish and Wildlife Service of Hawaii, and the Ding Darling Nature Preserve on Sanibel Island.

He was named to the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame in 2004 and received the US Merchant Marine Alumni Association’s Outstanding Professional Achievement Award in 2006.  He and his wife were named the Nature Conservancy’s Volunteers of the Year in 1987 and Refuge Volunteers of the Year by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in 2004.

Ken is survived by his three daughters, Diana (David) Wilson of Crystal Lake, Jennifer Fiske of Woodstock, and Nancy (Ron) Readel of Richardson, Texas; two grandchildren, Matthew (Kate) Wilson of Spokane, Washington, and Timothy (Nina Beck) Wilson of Milwaukee; and two great-grandchildren, Elliot and Nora Wilson of Spokane, Washington; his beloved cat, Serena, and his devoted caregivers, Ewa Major and Dom Vorachak.  He is also survived by his sister, Virginia Boorom, of Portland, Oregon.  He was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Darlene.

All services were private.

Memorials may be made to the McHenry County Audubon Society Birds in the Classroom Grant Program or the First United Methodist Church of McHenry Organ Restoration Project.

© 2019 Schneider Leucht Merwin Cooney. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS