When the unexpected happened, one decision kept a family secure.
Mom’s Forward Thinking Protects Family After She's Gone
Her sense of humor, her positive attitude, her life goals. He was drawn to it all. But what first led 34-year-old Stephen Miller to his wife Katie was a mutual passion: dogs.
“I met Katie when she came over to meet my roommate’s pup, Cole. We hit it off right away and I asked her to the movies.”
The relationship blossomed - and in 2011 the pair wed.
“Marrying Katie was a packaged deal. I got a wonderful wife and her Labrador border collie mix, Riley,” smiled Stephen. "I became an instant dog dad.”
Life marched on. Stephen worked as a contractor. Katie, an accountant. “Great with numbers, wise with money - that’s Katie.” So it didn’t surprise Stephen when Katie arranged a meeting for the couple to discuss their financial goals with State Farm® agent Rose Goheen.
“I knew Katie before she met Stephen, because I helped write her homeowners insurance,” said Rose. “She was analytical, logical, and practical. She wanted to ensure they had a strong financial foundation.”
During the meeting, they discussed life insurance. That didn’t sit well with Stephen. “I thought the whole thing was a waste of time and money,” he said. "I told Katie, ‘We’re young! We’re healthy. We don’t need this.’”
Katie won the debate. They took out two term policies. Life marched on.
In 2014, the Millers celebrated the birth of their first child, a son named Chase. Shortly after, they met Rose for another financial review.
“Stephen and Katie did it right. Life insurance matters. It is important to look at policies to determine a comfortable figure for your budget and changing circumstances,” said Rose.
Three years later, the Millers welcomed their second child, Reid. “It was an exciting, busy time,” said Stephen. “But we had health concerns about Katie.”
A few months after giving birth to Reid, doctors found a tumor near Katie’s stomach. Following surgery and testing, it was determined to be Ewing’s Sarcoma. The rare cancer, which occurs in and around the bones had metastasized to other parts of Katie’s body.
“The word cancer…it’s numbing,” said Stephen. “But Katie never lost her light.”
With the help and support of family, friends and her medical team, Katie fought the disease hard. But the cancer continued to spread. On July 28, 2018, Katie passed away at the age of 30.
Her final request was to remember the good times, remember her.
“We continue to do that every day,” said Stephen. “I started a nonprofit called ‘Katie’s Crew.’ Its purpose is to raise awareness and support for cancer research. We will win this fight.”
Stephen says Katie’s legacy is all around him. And, her forward thinking, to ensure they had life insurance means the family is secure and protected.
“Chase, Reid, Riley and I can stay in our house. I’m so grateful for that sense of the familiar during this unbelievably hard time,” said Stephen. “Because Katie thought ahead, Chase and Reid can go to college. Their education is taken care of. We also have the financing to take vacations, and do fun activities. I know Katie would want that. Because of life insurance coverage, our boys are protected. My wife was right all along.”
And, as life continues to march on, Stephen says the joy Katie brought to the world continues to be recognized and celebrated by those near and far.
“She taught us so much. Taught us how to appreciate the small things, laugh whenever possible and love always,” said Stephen. "Her legacy will never be forgotten.”
State Farm Life Insurance Company (Not licensed in MA, NY or WI)
State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company (Licensed in NY and WI) Bloomington, IL
For over 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its more than 19,400 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 91 million policies and accounts – including auto, fire, life, health, commercial policies and financial services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the 2023 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.