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Monday, June 5, 2006

RIP Vern Fonk

Posted by on June 5 at 9:55 AM

On March 22, the Northwest lost one its most popular and beloved insurance moguls, when Vern Fonk passed away at age 75.

Fonk will primarily be remembered for his achingly bizarre television commercials, starring the bug-eyed Rob Thielke, and the phrase “Honk when you drive by Vern Fonk!

Courtesy of Belltown Messenger publisher Alex R. Mayer, here’s a scan of yesterday’s obituary from the Seattle Times:


Those who want to honk for Vern Fonk one last time can attend a memorial service this Friday in Emonds. (Full info in obit above.)

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Too bad he wasn't killed by a drunk driver.

You mean the annoying guy in the commercials wasn't Vern Fonk himself?!

I feel so cheated!

My memory may be faulty, but I thought the commercials didn't begin until after Vern Fonk sold the business along with the right to continue using his pricelessly funky name.

I'm sad to see him go - it was one of the first things I remember when I moved here from Vancouver BC was the Honk Fonk ads.

Chris's comment is apropos, since Vern Fonk's specialty was of course "insurer of last resort", charging exorbitant fees to insure drivers whose inability to abide by the rules of the road a dozen or a hundred or a thousand times made them eligible for nothing else. Seventeen DWIs? Call Vern Fonk.

I feel so jipped that the guy in the commercials wasn't actually Vern Fonk. WTF...I've been lied to all these years.

And when visiting the cemetery, remember to honk...

Mr. Fonk was a gifted business man, who found a niche in the insurance world and filled it very well. His ads so expertly targeted the clientele he was seeking that he was able to make a small business into a huge success, supporting many employees and their families. Thank you, Mr. Fonk, for being a shining example of success to the entrepreneurs of Seattle. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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