Good morning Cougs, and a heavy heart greets you today. Yesterday we lost a great one in Kathi Goertzen, the long-time KOMO anchor who touched so many of us in her lifetime. Just 54 when she lost her 14-year battle with her dreadful brain tumors, her loss leaves a hole around the great NW. Not just for Cougs, who adored her every moment on this earth, but based on the outpouring of reactions last night, everyone in the NW is saddened by this loss (and rightly so).
Personally I was never a big watcher of local news, but there was always a special place for Kathi. She was a shining light of class, dignity and beauty on the air, and Kathi and Dan Lewis were just part of the Seattle/NW scene. She basically belonged to everyone around here who would tune in to watch what's happening in our corner of the world. I was never lucky enough to have actually met her, but like many of you, I FELT like I knew her and claimed her as "one of us". Maybe it was her WSU roots that made the connection larger than it really was, or the way she supported the Cougs by having the WSU marching band come in to the set during a live broadcast. Or maybe it was her reaction to when the UW marching band did the same thing, with her covering her eyes and ears and faking the pure agony at the very sight of the UW band! She never shied away from being a Coug, and was always proud of her roots. And that made all of US proud of HER and to be associated with her in some way, beyond just what you saw on TV!
There are many articles out there today about Kathi and her impact that she made in so many lives. But probably the best thing out there is from KOMO, where they have a bunch of features on her life, including a very touching tribute from Steve Pool. I highly encourage you all to check it out here.
One last thing - Kathi was regarded as a sports fan. There are stories about how she was a Coug, of course, and very passionate about all-things-WSU. But there are other stories, about how she used to sneak over to the Key to watch some Sonics action between the 6 and the 11 o'clock news. I heard both Kevin Calabro and Mitch Levy touch on that yesterday and this morning, about how many times she would be in the building to root on the Sonics when she had that break in the early evening. Kathi was also somewhat new to the social media scene, but had a huge Facebook following. She was actually on Twitter for a short time as well, and out of 28 people she followed, somehow, some way, wsufootballblog.com made it to her list. Maybe it was someone else who picked us on her account, or maybe it was a real moment of weakness for her(!), but hey, I'm personally HONORED that she would choose to follow a bunch of "rubes" like us.
Thoughts and well-wishes to her loving family, and may she forever rest in peace.
All for now. GO COUGS!