Long-time Seattle news anchor Kathi Goertzen was remembered Sunday, almost a week after losing her 14-year battle with brain tumors. A celebration of Kathi’s life was held at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion where her family and co-workers honored the trusted KOMO anchor for her love of life and people.
During the service, filled with Kathi’s favorite music, her daughters talked about their mother and her long fight to live.
“My mom believed that there was a reason for everything, a reason why she was handed this disease, a reason why she faced it the way she did,” said Kathi’s daughter Andrea Jewett. “She used her brain tumors as a way to inspire, she inspired me by facing her illness head on and she never hid.”
Andrea and Kathi’s other daughter Alexa said that their mother told them every day that she loved them more than all of the sand on the beach and all the stars in the sky. Alexa said her mom always encouraged her to write. She read a poem at the service titled “Blue Beach Glass.”
“Momma a force that enraptured my mind as a little girl,” Alexa said. “Into the days of womanhood, I`m still distracted by her beauty. Her white teeth, her cheeks like mountains. She gave me and Andrea life. Her heart, pure as an agate translucent in Puget Sound`s Olympic light’
Kathi’s sister Sara Dial described what she was like as a child, and the woman she became.
“She was the life of the party, she was never the first to leave,” said Dial. “So many times she talked me into just staying a little bit longer.”
At times there was laughter as clips demonstrating Kathi’s great sense of humor and infectious smile were played.
Kathi began working at KOMO right out of Washington State University in 1980. She quickly rose to nightly anchor. When the brain tumors began, she shared the battle with the public, updating her legions of fans along the way.
“You can`t let an illness define you and I refuse to let this brain tumor define who I am,” she said.
And she didn’t. Those who loved her describe a woman who genuinely cared about other people, a woman filled with love, a woman who fought bravely until the end.