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Anne Gongos: His Final Gift

When John and Anne Gongos met, they knew at once they were meant to be together. And so they began creating a life together built on respect, faith and raising their three children.

As their family grew, John’s business, Gongos Research, did as well. It was not only thriving financially, but it was a place where employees loved to work—it was like an extended family. John felt compelled to care for both his families—the one at home and at work.

As a child, John saw firsthand what happened when there was no life insurance. His father died of a heart attack at 42, leaving his mother to raise three children with no financial resources. Later, one of his first bosses died in his early 50s leaving his business affairs in disarray.

As a consequence, John worked closely with insurance professional Craig Wiklund, CLU, ChFC, to ensure that neither his family nor business would suffer if something happened to him. A key piece they put in place was a business succession plan, funded with life insurance. Craig also made sure that John had adequate personal life insurance.

That planning was fortuitous. An acute stomach pain that sent John to the emergency room turned out to be cancer. He died just nine days later at 51.

The grief was overwhelming, says Anne, but one thing she didn’t have to worry about then or into the future was money. She received death benefit proceeds from John’s personal life insurance policy and money from the sale of the business, which was all detailed within the succession plan. In addition, the business transition went as planned, and the 100-plus employees that John considered family were able to keep their job and help the company thrive under the new owners.

“Because of the planning John and Craig did, my family is taken care of for life and the company is doing great,” says Anne. “Life insurance was truly John’s final gift to us.”