I met the man on several occasions. Very nice to me, and from what I am hearing a great guy all around. 50 is way too young for anybody, but especially for a guy who seemed to have so much life and energy. He was creative and interesting in an industry that is not well known for those characteristics.
Vern Fonk actually retired from the agency back in 1995. Lots of people in the NW thought that Rob WAS Vern, due to the exposure. When he did charity events, and he did many, he would get autograph hounds lining up. He signed his name “Vern Fonk” just like that. Here’s one more Honk for Fonk!