Charlene is a local mom who is passionate about Life Insurance. She’s a Primerica rep and started her career in the life insurance industry after experience a wave of immediate family loss. Most family members had to use GoFundMe accounts to afford funeral expenses and Char got down to business to make sure families wouldn’t have to walk these same struggles.
Her passion has always been to help families and help people gain control over grief and loss in stressful situations due to circumstances at no fault of their own in any way that she can. Being a Primerica insurance rep has been such a blessing in allowing her to grieve, let go and move forward in such a comfortably numb situation. She prepares families for the “The What If’s.”
Getting families properly protected has become Char’s “WHY.” She’s able to help families and individuals get the coverage they need, get out of debt and earn extra income paying it forward. It’s her belief that no one should lose everything because someone died. Life insurance is not just to bury someone, it also protects the income that is no longer there to allow those left behind to grieve and get on with their lives.
This is a mama who is compassionate, kind, been through a lot in her life, and can use her own experiences to help guide others. We are honored to feature her today, especially because Life Insurance is something that we all need, that needs to be on our radar.
Her interview below is insightful, raw, honest, open, and beautiful and we hope you enjoy it.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Katy area?
I’m originally from the South Side of Chicago. I’ve lived in Katy 1year.
I was a young single mother at 16. Later at 20 I married and had 3 additional children and divorced at 29 from my first husband. Raised my children as a single mom of 4 in Northwest Suburbs of Hoffman Estates IL before relocating to Las Vegas for my mortgage career 1996-2014. I met my 2nd husband through online dating 2008. We had a long distance relationship for 9 years. I relocated to Seattle, his hometown, in 2015 where we were married with a blended family.
How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I have 3 adult Children 28, 32, 39
My youngest daughter was previously a resident of Houston of 9yrs and recovering from a brain tumor. Due to Hurricane Harvey she was fortunate to escape the aftermath and relocate to Seattle with me and my late husband.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Katy?
Currently it’s just me and my youngest daughter Rachael. She’s still undergoing treatment for her Brain Tumor and doing ok. We are finding alternative ways to keep her spirit bright and her peace of mind thriving. We enjoy the small town feel and the sense of community after living Downtown our first year in a Hi rise.
Best mom hack that makes life easier?
Letting my children figure things out while leaving a few clues and telling them all separately of course they’re my favorite.
What are your favorite local things to do in Katy? (with kiddos or just for mom!)
My daughter and I enjoy the neighborhood through bike trails and eateries and watching all the new development as our community grows here in Young Ranch. I enjoy random meet ups with other neighbors at local venues and participating in our Boozy Fairy gift exchange to meet other moms in the community. Life is always better with wine.
We’re big on self-care for moms, as hard as it is to find the time, what’s something you do just or yourself?
I like to take an hr every morning just to affirm my day before the noise starts and center myself through walking to clear my mind that sometimes gets ahead of me. Must have my coffee and make a power list of things to do for the day.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I was once a guest speaker on THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW!
Tell us about your business in Life Insurance. How long have you been in life insurance and what services do you offer families and individuals?
I started my career in life insurance in 2016 after all the losses listed below of immediate family who used GO FUND ME accounts to cover funeral expenses… With the exception of my son and late husband.
In 2013 my 2 yr old cousin was hit and killed by a CTA bus in Chicago.
In 2014 my 18 yr old nephew was murdered for an IPAD walking home from School.
2014 my 22 yr old cousin was killed in a drive-by shooting sitting in her car in front of her home.
2014 My son, 27 yr old, was visiting family in Chicago for the weekend and was murdered and robbed by my estranged half brother, a Heroin addict.
2015 My 30 yr old cousin was kidnapped and killed on what would have been my son’s birthday.
2016 My mother died from breast cancer.
2016 My 39 yr old niece, the mother of my deceased nephew, died from breast cancer.
2017 My estranged half brother who murdered my son overdosed on heroin.
2017 My husband of 20 months committed suicide 2 weeks after Racheal moved home fleeing Hurricane Harvey while recovering from surgery of her brain tumor.
2018 My 21 yr old cousin was killed in a drive -by shooting.
2019 My 24 yr old cousin was killed.
2021 my 22 yr old nephew was recently shot up in a drive-by shooting currently in critical condition.
My passion has always been to help families and help people gain control over grief and loss in stressful situations due to circumstances at no fault of their own in any way that I can. Being a Primerica insurance rep has been such a blessing in allowing me to grieve, let go and move forward in such a comfortably numb situation. “The What If’s”
Getting families properly protected has become my “WHY” I help families and individuals get the coverage they need, get out of debt and earn extra income paying it forward. No one should lose everything because someone died. Life insurance is not just to bury someone, it also protects the income that is no longer there to allow those left behind to grieve and get on with their lives.
It’s being responsible and those who don’t believe in it should have to come back and see the mess they left behind.
Primerica is the largest financial services marketing organization in North America
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange (PRI) with more than $109 Billion Term Life Insurance Coverage issued, $ 7.6 Billion in investments, 140 Thousand Reps and $1 Billion in field cash compensation. We serve more clients in one month than most companies do all year. We pay out death claims in 14 days doing what’s right.
You have been through a lot in your life, can you tell us about losing your son in 2015 and then your husband in 2017 (as much as you feel comfortable). Do you have any advice to other moms that have experienced significant grief and loss in their lives?
My son was an entrepreneur who owned a small trucking company and was engaged when he decided to attend a family reunion in Chicago. I was not comfortable attending due to my ( childhood PTSD) from the effects of violence in Chicago. I remained home in Las Vegas and he went alone. My son was scheduled to fly home Oct 8th but my estranged brother at the reunion asked for a ride home. My unsuspecting son gave his uncle a ride in his rental car to a crack house where he was ambushed and robbed and left for dead while my brother and others got high on heroin Oct 7th. My son was one day away from coming home and plans he made for his life and his fiancé were dashed. “The What If”
My late husband suffered in silence with bipolar depression. I was never aware of it until the last six months of our marriage. He was very clever at hiding his symptoms during our long distance relationship. In the midst of a psychotic break his behavior led to a very big blow up at a restaurant during dinner out with my daughter Rachael. He left us sitting in the restaurant and decided to walk home. Something told me to not go home. We retreated to a friend’s house as I was frightened to my core. I had never seen my husband in such rage. By the Grace of God and instinct My husband planned a murder suicide but I didn’t come home. He later went to his office and hung himself. Leaving behind the mess he made. “The What If’s”
It was later revealed in his suicide notes he canceled his separate life insurance and raised our joint policy by an additional $1 million for my daughters to have financial security without their mother “ The What If’s”
I not only lost my husband to depression and Bipolar disease but also the death benefits from our joint life insurance. It was denied due to a suicide 2yr contest-ability clause. We were 4 months short of 2yrs. My husband’s income has also gone and the bills continued creating financial hardship for me and my daughter’s.
How does your personal experience of loss affect your business and work with your clients in Life Insurance?
From my experience I have become a walking talking testimony of the importance of why families need it now more than ever. No one should lose everything in an instant when someone dies and is burdened with unexpected debt. I try to educate my clients on my WHY “The What If’s”
Why is life insurance so important to have – as a professional and as a person who has lost their spouse?
Life insurance is not just to bury someone, it’s also income protection to help families get out of debt, create an emergency fund, plan for retirement and education for their children to create a financial legacy for those you leave behind.
How do you hope to help your clients and what is your favorite thing about being in the life insurance industry?
I hope to educate my clients with a free financial needs analysis while helping them get properly protected with Term Life Insurance and creating good financial habits that lead to financial freedom. God forbid something happens but If it does I can provide them with the income protection they need to have peace of mind. “ The What If’s”
Due to Covid and this PANDEMIC my industry has exploded. I’m actually expanding my office and sharing this opportunity has been my favorite. It’s always a pleasure sitting across a kitchen table meeting new families and individuals who also want to earn extra income and join my team while making a difference in the community.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom you are today?
My mother has been the most influential person of my life. She was the oldest of 16 siblings she helped raise after the death of her mother. My mom was also a widowed mother of 5. I learned early on from her how to be creative, cooking, planning and networking with other moms in creating your village.
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
It’s not life or death, Not sweating the small stuff, just breathe.
Here is Char’s website link: