Charles Kennon “Ken” Fisher, 76, beloved husband of Bunny Szalay Fisher for 51 years, loving father to David Fisher of Cary, NC and Bethany Marlow(Jeff) of Castle Rock, CO and wonderful grandfather to JJ, Josh, and Alex Marlow, and Hannah, Isaac, Joseph, Pragati, Ian, and Pratik Fisher, died peacefully at his home in Lone Tree, CO on September 28, 2020 due to complications related to prostate cancer. As he had hoped, his wife and children were at his bedside. His entire life and final days were a testimony to his deep faith in his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which he openly shared with humility, gentleness, and respect. Ken was preceded in death by his mother and father, Helen and Koehler Fisher of Akron, Ohio, and his two brothers, Koehler of Akron, Ohio and John of Sedona, Arizona. In addition to his wife, children, and grandchildren, he is survived by his sister Kitty Stofsick of Wilmington, NC and many cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and friends whom he loved.
Ken was born in Akron, Ohio on May 10, 1944. He grew up in Goodyear Heights where he began a lifelong love of singing at age eight as a member of the men and boys choir at St. Paul’s Episcopal church in Akron. The family moved to Montrose, and Ken graduated from Copley high School, class of ’62, where he excelled as a student and was an active member of the Radio Club. He then attended Ohio University where he earned his undergraduate degree in Botany.
Ken started his career in education teaching biology at Cuyahoga Falls High School where he met his future bride, English teacher Bunny Szalay, in the teacher’s lounge. Ken and Bunny married in March of 1969, then went to Ohio University to study for their Masters Degrees. Ken earned his degree in Counseling and Student Personnel. After graduation, he and his wife moved to Tiffin, Ohio where Ken was an assistant dean of students at Heidelberg College. A year later they moved to Canton, Ohio where Ken worked for several years at Malone College and became Dean of Students. Leaving the field of education, but not leaving his love of teaching, Ken joined ServiceMaster in 1978 in their training and development department. After stints in Wheeling, WV and Pittsburgh, PA, Ken and family moved to Winfield, IL in 1984 where Ken took the position of Director for People Development at ServiceMaster’s headquarters outside Chicago. Ken and Bunny lived in the Chicago area for 24 years. In 2002, Ken founded the Abraham Lincoln Center for Character, a non-profit organization working with schools and communities to foster character traits such as respect, responsibility, integrity, and citizenship. He acted as director for six years. During that time Ken also worked with the nonprofit IEE, the Institute for Excellence and Ethics, where he served on the board. He saw himself as a navigator, helping others become their best. In 2008, Ken and Bunny moved to Lone Tree, CO, fulfilling Ken’s lifelong dream to live in the Rocky Mountains where they explored, hiked, and soaked in the beauty of all four seasons. Ken remained an active leader in the community as assistant house manager at the Lone Tree Arts Center and board member and singer in the Cherry Creek Chorale. Ken and Bunny embraced their mutual love to travel for years. Highlights included trips to all 50 states in this beautiful nation, driving all of Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, CA, visiting multiple national parks, traveling internationally to England, Scotland, Wales, France, and Ecuador, many memorable excursions to visit state capitols , and delightful road trips in 2019 during a yearlong celebration of 50 years of marriage.
Drawing upon his Welsh heritage, Ken loved to sing. In addition to being a member of the St. Paul’s men and boys choir and the Cherry Creek Chorale, Ken sang in many church choirs. He also sang in the award winning Gam Glee Club at OU, founded and directed the community chorale “The Something Singers” in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and was a member of the Glen Elyn/Wheaton Chorale in IL. Above all, he loved singing his favorite choral piece, Handel’s Messiah, which he was able to do at least 30 times.
Ken’s life was defined by his deep faith in Jesus Christ and his devotion to his wife, children, and grandchildren. He instilled in his family a passion for God’s creation, travel, and exploration through numerous nature hikes and road trips across this country. A lifelong learner, Ken was happy to share his wealth of knowledge about topics as diverse as wildflowers, aviation, baseball, and choral music. He had a wonderful dry sense of humor and delighted in making others laugh – or groan! Our wonderful husband, dad, Papa, brother, uncle, and friend will be dearly missed.
Ken’s memorial service will be held Saturday, Oct. 3 at 1:00 mountain time. Due to current COVID restrictions, this will be a closed service for immediate family only. We encourage you to join us via livestream, available at the Facebook page for Heflebower Funeral Services. Facebook.com/HeflebowerFuneralServices. A Facebook account is not required for viewing. Instructions are on the site. The service can also be viewed any time after its completion. For local friends and family, we invite you to attend calling hours on Friday, Oct. 2 from 6-9 pm at Heflebower Funeral Services, 8955 S. Ridgeline Blvd. Suite 100. Highlands Ranch, CO. Attendees are restricted to 30 at one time. We thank you for understanding if a short wait is required prior to entry.
In Lieu of flowers, the family invites donations to Samaritan’s Purse (samaritanspurse.org), the Lone Tree Arts Center (lonetreeartscenter.org), and the Cherry Creek Chorale (cherrycreekchorale.org).