The Beevers-Miller clan enjoys a skiing trip to Cooper Mountain in Colorado.  From left, are Ellie Miller, Kaylee Beevers, Kiera Miller, Kathy Beevers, Troy Miller and Cole Beevers.
The Beevers-Miller clan enjoys a skiing trip to Cooper Mountain in Colorado. From left, are Ellie Miller, Kaylee Beevers, Kiera Miller, Kathy Beevers, Troy Miller and Cole Beevers.
"Grow old along with me, The best is yet to be, When our time has come, We will be as one, God bless our love, God bless our love...Grow old along with me, Two branches of one tree, Face the setting sun, When the day is done, God bless our love, God bless our love..."

"Never, ever, did I dream that I'd be this happy again," said Kathy Beevers, Kingsland's former business manager, who is departing Spring Valley and Wykoff to marry the man with whom she would like to grow old, Troy Miller, of Chaska, Minn., whom she met at work, as he worked on the architectural firm that assisted with Kingsland's 2008 building project and two prior building referendum attempts.

Troy and Kathy's courtship and understanding of one another grew from their losses. Kathy's husband, Wally, passed away suddenly in November 2009, and Troy lost his wife, Nadine, last winter to cancer.

"Troy and I have a tremendous amount in common - we both grew up in rural areas, went off to college, married our high school sweethearts, both live a few hours away from our families, are parents of two teenagers, lost our spouses in our 40s, both love family time, running, walking, music, eating out, travel and exercise," noted Beevers.

"We both enjoyed married life very much since we have 40 combined years of experience, and even though our hearts have experienced suffering, we have both kept a good attitude and believed in the communion of saints ... Nadine and Wally will always be with us.

"After suffering incredible losses, we are both very excited about having a second chance at happiness once again. It is fun to be happy again and to look forward to the future."

Their future includes their children - Kathy's daughter Kaylee, 17, and son, Cole, 15, and Troy's daughters, Kiera, 15, and Ellie, 14.

Kathy's children appreciate Troy "because he is a good cook," and Kathy appreciates him for all those little reasons.

She added, "But moreover, I'm grateful every day that my life crossed paths with Troy's. He has been someone I could talk to in ways that others did not seem to understand. We are both raising two teenagers, and we have so many shared values and experiences.

"I liked that we have known each other for so many years. It may have allowed our relationship to progress a little quicker than many of our friends expected, but there is nothing we have enjoyed more than getting to know each other and the kids. Conversations with him and our kids have been so easy and comfortable. From day one, our courtship and relationship has felt like an old shoe - or maybe a big old quilt."

What Beevers likes best about them as a couple is the fact that they love being together and love being with the kids. "He is a kind, wonderful man with a great sense of humor, who is very family-oriented," she said.

However, dating after 20 years has its adventures, according to Beevers. "It had been 20 years since either of us had dated, but it has been amazing. The first date, the first kiss - it is not like riding a bike, meeting the parents, and of course spending time with the kids ... I think two-thirds of our dates include one or all of the kids."

Their first date was, well, a social outing. "For our first date, Troy invited me to go fly fishing with him. I love the outdoors, so I thought it would be fun. We packed all of our fishing gear, waders and a picnic lunch."

Beevers said not long after they got their lines in the water, a school bus pulled up from Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center. The doors of the bus opened and approximately 25 teenage boys unloaded.

"The boys and their chaperones joined us on the stream. Needless to say, the fishing wasn't good, but we had a wonderful time. It became the date by which all others were measured - expect the unexpected!" she added.

Beevers says "it's hard to pick out a favorite moment" when considering her newfound love.

Two that came to mind for her included their family vacation to a remote cabin and lake in Canada in July, seven days of just the six of them.

"It could not have been a better family-building activity or anything more romantic. And the trip included a 16-hour-plus drive each way. Troy and I decided that if we endured that, we could survive anything."

According to Beevers, the other unforgettable moment would be later in the summer, when the kids were growing tired of travel between Chaska and Spring Valley.

"One Sunday, it was time for Troy and the girls to head home, but not before the two of us took a walk. Long story short, we lost track of time and left our cell phones at the house. We returned to the lecture of all lectures from the four kids. The hour-plus-long discussion ended with Troy and I agreeing to be better at communicating with the kids. We now never leave home without our phones and text updates often."

Troy, who now works for TSP Architects & Engineers, asked Kathy to marry him this past August - he proposed to her at the location of their first date.

"He said we were going fishing, and when he opened the trunk, there was a picnic basket with all the supporting amenities. We found a spot along the stream in the middle of a pasture and had a beautiful evening. When we left that night, it was really, really dark. Once we reached the car we had to laugh because our shoes were covered with memories of the pasture. The memories I love, but the shoes had to go!"

The couple is having a small, private wedding ceremony for immediate family on March 16 in Excelsior, Minn., followed by a sit-down family dinner and later, a reception for family and close friends.

Beevers shared, "We are so excited and are looking forward to celebrating our new beginning. It will be a perfect time to rejoice with those who have been so supportive and there for our families. Kaylee, Kiera and Ellie enjoy country music and love to dance, and Troy and I have a feeling that, between the three girls, they will get Cole out on the dance floor, too."

Following the reception, they're packing up their bags and taking the kids on a "familymoon" in Italy and Greece, as neither could imagine honeymooning without the children who have been brought together through their marriage.

"The kids picked the destination for the honeymoon," Kathy noted.

Given that they're going to become a family of six from households of three, they included their children in most of their decisions.

Beevers noted, "We are sort of a modern day 'Brady Bunch'-type family. Blending two families is not easy, nor will it ever be perfect, but all six of us agree on one thing - we are better off as one big family, plus two fluffy cats, Rae and Kisa. We made a commitment to the kids, and from the beginning held a number of 'working towards family' meetings. We allowed them to ask us anything - and they did.

"There were lots of tears, lots of smiles and lots of hugs. We are fortunate to have four fantastic kids to share our lives with. They make us very proud."

Kathy's last official day as Kingsland's business manager was Jan. 2, though she did contribute several extra hours to make the transition smoother for her replacement.

"Following Kaylee's graduation in June 2013, Kaylee, Cole and I will be moving to Chaska, Minn., a southwest suburb of the Twin Cities. We are currently remodeling Troy's home in Chaska to accommodate our new larger family. Between now and our wedding date, we are busy every day. Planning the wedding details, remodeling the home, keeping up with the kids' activities, getting ready for Kaylee's graduation party, and the move is keeping us hopping!"

Beevers plans to take a year off from work to "get moved and settled," and "after that time, I'll look for another position."

Kaylee's plans after graduation from Kingsland High School are to attend the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, majoring in psychology, noted Beevers. Her classes will begin this fall.

Cole will begin his sophomore year at Chaska High School in September. Beevers noted, "We have toured the school and are beginning the process of registration for classes. His soon-to-be stepsisters will be at the same high school, which is comforting for me. Kiera and Ellie are extremely good to Cole. I'm sure they will keep an eye on him and make sure his transition is smooth."

There is one transition Beevers would like to soften as she looks forward to living with Troy and their children as a family.

"Leaving Spring Valley, Wykoff and the Kingsland School District will be difficult for me. I have enjoyed every minute of being here ... I will forever treasure the friendships I've made. I have lived half of my life in Spring Valley and will always think of it as home. Some of the most amazing people I've ever met in my life are from Spring Valley and Wykoff.

She added, "Everyone has been so good to us. In fact, we've been treated like royalty. The community was especially helpful and supportive since Wally's tragic and unexpected death in November 2009. I don't think I could have survived the past few years without the love of my friends, co-workers and neighbors."

Beevers plans to stop to visit those who have meant so much to her while en route to her hometown in Iowa. "Most of my relatives live in Iowa, so I will be going through Spring Valley occasionally."

The future Mrs. Miller, now a branch of a new tree, advised others that "no matter what life hands you, be thankful, appreciative of all that you have and hold on tight to your faith. My gut feeling was that if I kept a positive attitude, a smile on my face and my chin up, things would turn around for me.

She said, in a nutshell, they are "a perfect fit."

"We realize that marriage is not perfect and that it is important to love that part the most. There will always be respect and love between us."

Beevers added, "In some ways, I feel like Troy was 'heaven sent.' When we have told people about our past, present and future plans, many folks have had a few happy tears along with a lot of smiles.

She concluded, "We've heard numerous times that the story of our families would make a fabulous book and/or movie. People love romance and happy endings. Who knows ... maybe I'll write about our lives and we will be famous someday! The ending sentence will read, '...and they lived happily ever after.'"