Kathi Goertzen The Most Recognized And Trusted Anchors In Seattle For A Generation


SEATTLE — Kathi Goertzen, one of the best accustomed and trusted anchors in Seattle TV annual for a generation, died Monday afterwards a 14-year attempt with alternating academician tumors.

She was ailing backward aftermost anniversary with amiable but aggressively assiduous tumors that had already attacked her affected face and articulation afore assuredly abrogation her clumsy to breathe on her own.

In her final days, she was visited bedside by her ample Seattle family, including two daughters, father, sisters,
pastor and colleagues at KOMO-TV. She was 54.

Goertzen, a Seattle native, anchored KOMO newscasts for about three decades. She aboriginal accustomed at the base as a fresh-out-of-college intern in 1979, afresh abutting with anchorman Dan Lewis on Sept. 21, 1987, basic a aggregation that would aftermost added than 20 years.

Indicative of her attainable approach, Goertzen about aired her crumbling health. In a 2011 annual story, she faced abounding camera to appearance assumption accident on the larboard ancillary of her face that larboard her clumsy to smile. "I’m not one to hide," she said.

When Goertzen went into accelerated affliction backward aftermost week, colleagues at KOMO asked for prayers of support. Within a day, bags of bodies tweeted their prayers, and bags added commented on her Facebook page.

"All weekend connected I anticipation about her," said Darcy Eakins, 36, who collection from West Seattle to accompany a acuity alfresco the KOMO annual studios. A affiche of Goertzen, aglow in a red blazer, was amidst by flowers, candles and pictures of her. A television played KOMO’s accolade coverage.

Sandra Vest, 50, said she access into tears aback she abstruse of Goertzen’s passing.

Goertzen had aggressive her to accumulate angry her own battles adjoin calm abandon and homelessness, Vest said, while she was active at a YWCA apartment with her children.

"She was a able woman, but actual balmy and compassionate," Vest said. "She didn’t accomplish me feel intruded on. Alike in advanced of cameras and lights, she put me at ease."

When in public, co-anchor Lewis said, "the two words I apprehend added than about any other: ‘How’s Kathi?’ "

"So abounding bodies accept appear to apprentice what a able adventurous woman she is, what a fighter she is," said Lewis, asthmatic up. "People accept absolutely appear to adore that, and they respond."

Goertzen maintained an outsized borough contour with advance work, not consistently publicized, for youth-serving nonprofits. She batten for the accomplished 24 years at anniversary luncheons for the YWCA of Seattle, King and Snohomish counties, and led a $43 actor basic attack as lath admiral for the organization.

Goertzen was "a complete person," said longtime KOMO weatherman Steve Pool.

"She has this aura, this appearance that permeates the newsroom," said Pool. "There is an affected chic about Kathi that goes forth with her actual adeptness to do what she does on a circadian basis."

Kathryn L. Goertzen grew up in Seattle, the second-oldest of Irma and Don Goertzen’s four daughters. Irma Goertzen, a nurse, was ambassador of the University of Washington Medical Center, the aboriginal woman in the country to run a above teaching school. She absolute borough assignment into her daughters, said Pool.

"If you met her mother, you’d accept Kathi," Pool said.

Goertzen swam for Queen Anne High Academy (which bankrupt in 1981), afresh accelerating from Washington State University, and remained a articulate Cougar fan in this Husky town.

Victoria Martinsen, who has accepted Goertzen aback childhood, abutting ancestors and accompany at her bedside aboriginal Monday.

"There were a lot of bodies at the hospital, and aloof a huge bulk of love," Martinsen said. "It was both heart-wrenching and beautiful."

"I will absolutely absence her," Martinsen said. "She was a abundant mom, a abundant friend, a abundant daughter. And that’s what I went into her ‘room’ and said to her this morning, actually, ‘You’ve done a admirable job with your life.’"

Arriving at KOMO at the age of 22, Goertzen developed a acceptability as a adamant but compassionate reporter. She aboriginal anchored a advertisement in 1982, and she bound came to own an ballast chair.

She alloyed letters with humor, quipping afterwards a affection on a mud-caked cornball that had aloof been alien to a mate, "That one guy adeptness advance his affairs if he’d booty a bath."

Eric Johnson, a longtime KOMO anchorman and anchor, said Goertzen had a unique, attenuate way of cogent admirers "that she’s one of us."

"She was as adequate accepting tea with the queen as she would be in the bend saloon, BS-ing with blue-collar workers," said Johnson. "She was adequate in her own skin, and bodies were fatigued to that. She was alluring in that way."

Goertzen won bristles Emmy Awards and one Edward R. Murrow award, priding herself on her adeptness to backpack a breaking-news advertisement afterwards a script.

"Kathi had a way of authoritative bodies feel at ease," said KOMO annual administrator Holly Gauntt. "She would conciliate them because she’s so bottomward to apple and so funny."

Goertzen’s connected accord with Lewis, Pool and Johnson led to aggregate ancestors vacations at Suncadia, Lake Quinault Lodge, Hawaii and elsewhere.

Goertzen met her husband, KOMO annual controlling Rick Jewett, in the backward 1980s while he was a freelance annual photographer. Goertzen had a daughter, Alexa, now 23, from a antecedent marriage, and a 17-year-old daughter, Andrea, with Jewett.

Goertzen proudly played recordings of Alexa’s singing or videos of Andrea’s softball amateur on her iPhone for colleagues. In a Seattle Times adventure that appeared on Mother’s Day, Goertzen said she was aggravating to "hang on for connected enough" to acquisition a cure for her tumors.

"We try to accumulate those thoughts out of our heads," Andrea Jewett said.

Goertzen endured her aboriginal anaplasty to abolish a academician tumor, a attenuate blazon of meningioma, in 1998 afterwards she accomplished audition loss.

Eight consecutive surgeries could never absolutely abolish the growth. Repeated circuit of radiation and beginning treatments in Europe couldn’t, either.

She connected alive alike afterwards giving up the ballast chair, and kept admirers adapted on her health, including the decidedly aboveboard images of her facial disfigurement.

"I’ve never hidden this accomplished acquaintance of what happened to me," said Goertzen in a 2011 KOMO story. "Now I’m assuming it off."

Before her ninth anaplasty in February, Goertzen alternate to the newsroom for hugs and pictures with the staff.

"It was about as if bodies had an clue that she wouldn’t be able to appear aback again," said Johnson.

Goertzen is survived by her husband, Rick Jewett, two daughters, Alexa Jarvis and Andrea Jewett, and her mother and ancestor Irma and Don Goertzen, all of Seattle, and her three sisters.

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