Commemoration of KOMO’s Kathi Goertzen
Seattle native and KOMO 4 News anchor Kathi Goertzen died Monday after fighting brain tumors for more than 10 years. Kathi had been a part of the KOMO-TV family since 1980 and was best known as a staple figure in the Washington community, covering news stories from the fall of the Berlin Wall to local defeats and victories.
Kathi originally wanted to be a veterinarian upon graduation from Queen Anne High School, but instead attended Washington State University to obtain a degree in communications.
Kathi worked with news anchor Dan Lewis beginning the summer of 1987 and in 2005 became the longest-running news anchor team west of the Mississippi River. Lewis recalls Kathi as being one of the most important people he would ever meet and said he knew he always had to perform at his best when working with her, as she never gave anything less than one hundred percent.
Kathi was also known for caring an enormous amount for victims and people who were affected in the stories she covered and would often mourn for them although it never affected her ability to deliver the news.
Her health began to fail one day in 1998 when she began to lose hearing in her right ear. This was from a tumor that was growing at the base of her brain. However, after a successful surgery she went back to work and everything returned to normal. Sadly two years later the tumor came back and began to affect the nerve controlling her facial expressions and the ability to swallow. This would be the beginning of a journey that would end too soon.
She received an Honorary Doctorate at the 75th Commencement of Northwest University. She was praised for being the first American on site to report live about the Berlin Wall, for maintaining an exemplary image as a public figure and for displaying genuine Godly characteristics in a world and profession where objectives can easily become compromised.
Kathi’s death has left a hole in the hearts of her news team and many other people who grew up watching her around the world. The impression she left on so many of us will live on forever. She made the most of her life and had a heart of gold. The news will never be the same without her.
Kathi Goertzen is survived by her two daughters Alexa and Andrea and her husband Rick Jewett whom she met through her steadfast and beloved job with KOMO 4 News.
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