Having experienced the loss of four children through miscarriages, including a daughter lost in the sixth month of pregnancy, Don and Deloris Fiedler refer to Stephanie as their “miracle child.” Stephanie was born a healthy baby on March 8, 1969 at Bryan Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Neb.
After graduation from Pius X High School in 1987, Stephanie received a degree in fashion merchandising from the Colorado Institute of Art. From there she embarked on a 10-year career with Neiman Marcus that culminated with her joining the senior team in Scottsdale, Ariz. where she lived the last two years of her life.
On August 18, 2000, Stephanie learned she had cancer. After several months of treatment, it went into remission for a short time. The cancer eventually returned in a more serious way, and in September 2001 the doctors said Stephanie would not make it through the night. She did however, and the family was given three more months to prepare.
Shortly before her death on December 10, 2001, Stephanie’s last words to her parents were, “Sit down, be quiet.” While they were puzzled at the time, they soon came to believe that Stephanie was focused completely on God in those final moments.
The Fiedlers maintain that God works in ways that we may never understand during this lifetime. Perhaps one way is by bringing joy to Stephanie’s parents as they help other young people in her honor and memory, making lasting bonds between those who might have otherwise remained strangers.
Stephanie often said that attending Pius X made her an organized person and she valued her high school friendships. The Fiedlers created an endowed scholarship in October 2003 because they wanted to help other students to experience the Catholic education and receive the moral direction that their daughter did at Pius X.