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Our History

Our History

Great Great Grandfather's Insurance License

Following his grandfather, who was an insurance agent in the late 1800’s, our founder Don Sparks, started working in insurance in Iowa after serving in World War II and graduating with a degree in Actuarial Science.  Originally, he started working in the Actuarial Department of Bankers Life Insurance Company and then as a claims investigator for Travelers Insurance.  In the 1951 he moved his family to Kenosha, Wisconsin to work with George Timm & Co., Inc.   It was with the Timm Agency, Don Sparks started the “Sparks Insurance” professional legacy, which still continues today, of providing insurance solutions for Commercial Truckers, area residents, and local businesses, all while treating his customers and potential customers as family.

Don Sparks Intro to Kenosha, WI
George Timm & Co Inc Logo

In 1960, Don Sparks, in partnership with Louis Jensen, started Jensen & Sparks, Inc.  Throughout his time since moving to Kenosha, Don embodied the “Sparks Insurance” charitable legacy giving back to the city and area he and his family had made home.  He started working and chairing extensively with March of Dimes and Kenosha County Crippled Children.  He was also the first President and an organizer of the Kenosha Optimist Club Little League (now known as Kenosha Little League) and served as the League Commissioner for 20 years.  He was an original member of the Pike Masonic Lodge and Rotary West. His work has left a lasting mark on Kenosha and the agency today.

With his wife, Joan Sparks, Don started the current agency, Sparks Insurance Inc. in 1968.  Insurance being in the family blood for many generations, the next generation, their daughter Bonnie, also started working for the agency while in school in 1968.


Continuing keeping insurance as the family business, Bonnie’s husband, Lon Knoedler, joined the agency in 1975, directly after graduating from the University of MN.  Even the newest member of the Knoedler/Sparks family joined the family business early on in life (see in drawer).  As the Kenosha community grew, Sparks Insurance grew with it.  In 1987, Sparks Insurance, having out grown 3 previous locations, relocated to their new and current location once block east of the Highway 50 and Highway 31 intersection.


Currently, Lon and Bonnie own, operate, and continue the Sparks’ legacy with our customers and community.  Along with their staff, they are instilled with a strong desire to learn about each and every customer and their individual needs to provide them with the options and tools needed to protect themselves and their families.  Continuing in Don’s footsteps, Lon and Bonnie have continued to proudly support the Kenosha area with working directly with and chairing on numerous non-profit boards and committees, including continuing to be proud supporters of, amongst others, the Kenosha Little League, Shalom Center, and Boys & Girls Club/CYC. In addition, both are strong supporters of Ducks Unlimited, Inc. Lon serving on the National Board of Directors for over 15 years and Bonnie as the current local chapter Treasurer for over 10 years.

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