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Yesterday was a touch day…a true icon from this area, the well loved Kathi Goertzen passed away at the age of 54. Too young. For the last 14 years she has been struggling with brain tumors…over the last few years they have taken their toll on her, to the point where she couldn’t be on TV alongside her KOMO 4 family.
I only had one opportunity to meet Kathi, it was quick, but memorable. My buddy Steve Wilson, who at the time was working at KOMO 4 as a director (you probably remember him from Almost Live!), was giving me a tour of the station after we had coffee together…as we passed the newsroom cubicles, Kathi walking by. Now I have had the privilege of meeting very cool celebrities though my job, but when she passed me it did stop me in my tracks and I looked at Steve and whispered “That’s Kathi Goertzen”, like as if he didn’t know and I was letting him in on some crazy secret. He wound up introducing me to her, and I always thought she was beautiful on TV, but in person…she was even more beautiful, and there was this aura around her. She seemed real. Very real.
After watching the tribute specials that KOMO 4 did for her, my quick opinion of her being real seemed to be very accurate. What an amazing person…the stories I heard from Steve Pool, Dan Lewis, Eric Johnson, and Mary Nam brought me to tears. She wasn’t just their co-worker…she was a part of their family. And for many viewers in western Washington, she was a part of our family.
In a recent interview Kathi did, she spoke of her mortality…she spoke of her faith and how she knew that there was more to life after this. That this is just a shell. She summed up faith in a way many of us feel, but could never articulate:
“I have a great faith that there is something much larger than me that is pulling the strings and is in charge and I just have to listen and open myself up for what I am supposed to do and it's great comfort knowing that there is more than this, and this is just a shell, really.”
I think a lot of us can learn how to be a better worker, friend, family member, and human being from Kathi Goertzen.
I wanted to share what Steve Poole said last night, as I think what he said was very touching and moving, and a testament to who Kathi was to him and many others that were lucky to have known her: