State Farm(R) and Doris Roberts Honor Walnut Creek Resident with a 2006...

State Farm(R) and Doris Roberts Honor Walnut Creek Resident with a 2006 Embrace Life(R) Award

Grete Sorensen, Among Five Inspirational Women Who Persevered After the Loss of Their Spouses


Bloomington, IL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 22, 2006–State Farm Life Insurance Companies congratulates Grete Sorensen of Walnut Creek, Calif. as one of five of this year’s Embrace Life(R) Awards honorees. Sorensen and her fellow honorees were recognized at a gala luncheon in New York last week. In its third year, the State Farm(R) Embrace Life Awards honor women who persevered and inspired others despite the deaths of their spouses.

Doris Roberts, acclaimed actress from the Emmy-winning series “Everybody Loves Raymond,” has teamed up with State Farm to tell her story of embracing life after losing her husband, author William Goyen, to leukemia in 1983. Roberts will share her life lessons during her keynote address at the luncheon.

“What touches me most about these awards are the life lessons that remind us how important it is to get our financial houses in order,” said Roberts. “This year’s honorees’ stories go straight to the heart and the messages they send about love, loss and life are extraordinary.”

Sorensen suddenly lost her husband, Eric, in 1989 to congestive heart failure when he was 60. At her husband’s death, she realized that they didn’t have life insurance policies and Eric’s retirement plan had changed. Sorensen, a dancer, had to put her passion aside to gain financial stability. But her love for children made the transition easier. She converted her dance studio into a daycare center to provide for herself and her family. This experience helped Sorensen understand the importance of having a good family financial plan in place.

“You have to look at what you have, not what you don’t have,” Sorensen said about embracing life. “I just had to move on with the fact that I still had my family. We are so fortunate to have each other.”

This year’s Embrace Life Awards honorees were selected from nearly 350 essay nominations by an independent judging panel. Each receives $10,000 and a trip for two to New York City to attend the luncheon.

Families at Financial Risk

According to LIMRA International, almost one-third of adults have no life insurance protection. In addition, women carry an average of 50 percent less life insurance than men. Among adults with life insurance, nearly 90 percent do not have the amount recommended by the industry: at least seven times their annual income.

“As a former State Farm agent, I’ve seen first-hand the emotional and financial struggles families deal with after the death of a spouse,” said Susan Waring, CLU, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of State Farm Life Insurance Companies. “Women often seek advice from other women, and we hope the stories we share today will help spread awareness about the need for and importance of life insurance and proper family financial planning. It’s about life and embracing life for today and tomorrow.”

Honored alongside Sorensen, were fellow Embrace Life Awards honorees: Elaine Doll-Dunn, Spearfish, S.D.; Dening Lohez of New York, N.Y.; Laurel Schwass-Drew of Philadelphia, Pa.; and Amanda Thompson of Brandon, Minn.

For more information about the State Farm Embrace Life Awards and this year’s honorees, visit the News and Events Center at To find more financial planning information and educational tools designed specifically for women, visit

About State Farm

State Farm(R) insures more cars than any other insurer in North America and is the leading U.S. home insurer. State Farm’s 17,000 agents and 76,000 employees serve nearly 73 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada. State Farm also offers financial services products. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 22 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit or in Canada

State Farm(R) and Doris Roberts Honor Walnut Creek Resident with a 2006 Embrace Life(R) Award