Brian Zinchuk is editor and owner of Pipeline Online
The Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show, held in Weyburn, is honouring several people as being a Southeast Saskatchewan Legend. The awards will be presented on June 1, and you can get tickets to the event at oilshow.ca.
Here is the citation for Ken Lee:
Ken was born in 1933 near Elswick, Saskatchewan, a few miles from the current location of Mainprize Park.
Following his Grade 12 graduation in Midale, Ken worked various jobs as truck driver, mechanic and farm equipment salesman.
In 1954 Ken was hired by Shell Canada and began the first stage of his career in the oil business. While employed by Shell, Ken worked at Midale, Calgary, Houston and Portland.
In 1955 Ken married Marlene Fagerheim, also from Midale.
He moved his family several times and because of the many moves, in 1967 the family decided to quit Shell and the oil business to be able to live in Midale where Ken & Marlene raised 4 children. For a few years Ken worked as a mechanic and he sold fuel to the local farmers. Indeed, mechanics was one of his enduring interests over the years.
Ken returned to the oil business as a consultant and, along with a few friends, started Midale Petroleums. They bought their first two oil wells from Sun Oil in 1971. They drilled their first well in 1975. The company continued to grow while owned by Ken and four of his very best friends through purchase and drilling. He credits the success of the company to the collective expertise of the five owners, the exceptional staff that has, and continues to work there, an outstanding service industry in the area, and a cooperative group of people in the provincial ministry.
His title was “managing director,” but titles were sort of irrelevant, as the five partners worked together in running the company.
Ken retired from full-time management of the company in 1998 but has enjoyed the good fortune of being able to remain involved and in close communication with the ongoing management of the company and still serves on the board of directors along with other members of the families of the five partners.
Ken moved with Marlene to Regina in 2011 to allow for better care for Marlene’s dementia. Marlene passed away in 2016.
Since his retirement, all four of his partners and friends in Midale Petroleums; Dale Hardy, Ervin Meyers, George Hardy and Ran Clearwater have also passed away.
Other than friends and family, Ken’s primary passion has been a pursuit of philanthropy for many years.
Ken Lee is truly a Southeast Saskatchewan Legend.
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