Remembering Kathi Goertzen
- Web Special
Seattle has suffered another huge loss. Kathi Goertzen lost her lengthy struggle with brain tumors on Monday. She fought hard to beat them and in doing so she taught all of us a lot about courage and living life to the fullest.
I was a general assignment news reporter at KOMO television from 1993-1995. Before I came to work at KOMO I knew Kathi, but I didn’t really know how good of a reporter and anchor she was until I was part of the reporting team. As an anchor, she was exceptional. I always thought that she and Dan Lewis were the best anchor team in Seattle. They had this great chemistry together. Not only could they deliver the news well but in a breaking news situation, they were always outstanding. There were also times when Kathi had to handle things on her own. That was when I truly understood just how good she was not just as an anchor but as a journalist. She knew the news and it always showed.
What impressed me most about Kathi was how much she was always willing to help you. Once I was reporting a story about orcas and needed footage. I was on a tight timeline and while I had gone to the San Juans to get interviews, we didn’t see any orcas. On my way back to the station I started to stress because I didn’t have any whale footage. Kathi heard my concerns and said “I did a series about orcas, let me help you hunt down the footage.” She did, and I was able to turn the story. That was Kathi, always willing to help.
In 2005, KCTS and KOMO teamed up for a telethon to raise funds for the Red Cross to help Hurricane Katina victims and survivors. Kathi and I anchored the telethon. She was such a pro. She made it all so easy and she helped us raise $180,000. Her presence, her credibility and her concern for people no doubt helped us raise that money. Sadly, just a few days after the telethon, Kathi announced that she would need to have the second of what would become too many surgeries to remove the tumors from her brain.
Sometimes the public sees television personalities as distant and untouchable. That was not Kathi Goertzen. She grew up in Seattle and loved this community. She was involved in so many ways and in so many efforts to make Seattle a better place for all people. She was a proud WSU alumnus, something we shared enthusiastically. She was a mother, a wife and daughter. Most of all, she was a good friend and that is the Kathi I will always remember.
Enrique Cerna, KCTS 9