Kathi Goertzen won a lot of awards in her broadcasting career, but there was only one she boasted about: Star 101.5 FMs Newscaster You Would Most Like to See Naked.
She would point at it and say: You got one of these? fellow KOMO-TV journalist Eric Johnson recalled Sunday in a memorial service that focused on the personal side of the poised anchorwoman.
Goertzen tap danced on the set between shots. She gave Johnson nose-hair clippers for Christmas. At parties, she was never the first to leave.
Even after brain tumors had robbed her of the ability to swallow and hear, Goertzen showed up at Johnsons 50th birthday party, because she knew it was important to him.
Kathi could lighten a bad mood, and she could light up a room, said Dan Lewis, her co-anchor for more than 20 years. Goertzen died Aug. 13 at the age of 54.
Her friends, family and admirers packed Fisher Pavilion on Sunday to celebrate her life, in a service punctuated by laughter and a lot of nose-blowing. Dozens more gathered on the lawn outside to honor a woman who was more than a trusted source of information.
Kathy Temple and her husband, Jeff Ring, traveled from Poulsbo to attend the memorial, even though both of Temples legs are in casts from Achilles tendon surgery. Ring pushed her wheelchair from the ferry terminal.
Kathi was a genuine, beautiful soul who had a great spark in her, said Temple, who started watching KOMO newscasts when she moved to the state 25 years ago.
Goertzens choice of career was a surprise to her parents, Lewis said during the memorial. She was a quiet girl who got good grades but preferred to hide in her room. Her original goal was to be a veterinarian, but her first experience with a dead cat changed that.
Goertzen joined KOMO after she graduated from Washington State University, and her avid support for the Cougars drew whistles and cheers of support on Sunday. Weatherman Steve Pool, a fan of the University of Washington Huskies, brought the house down when he donned a Cougar hat.
Washington State University President Elson Floyd joined in eulogizing Goertzen, but couldnt resist getting a jab in. Put on the hat, Steve, he said to a roar of applause.
Outside the hall, well-wishers left bouquets and wrote messages on a giant scroll. A poster-size editorial cartoon rested on an easel.
In the image, Goertzen stood at the pearly gates, facing St. Peter with her reporters notebook in hand. Ill ask the questions around here, read the caption.