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Deborah (Deb) Lin Smith

Deborah (Deb) Lin Smith passed away December 15, 2021, at the age of 55 after a battle with cancer. 

Deb was born to Ronald and Karin Smith in Seattle, Washington and shortly thereafter the family moved to Billings, Montana. Deb attended Boulder Elementary, Will James Junior High and Billings West High School, graduating in 1984. She was always an excellent student and attended the University of California, San Diego, studying molecular biology. She received her Bachelor of Science in molecular biology in 1988. 

Upon graduation, she moved to Seattle, Washington, where she lived the rest of her life. Her first job there was at The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and later she worked as a bench scientist at Zymogenetics.

A blind date led her to meet Mark Anderson, and they fell in love. They married July 13, 1996, on a record-breaking hot summer day, and thereafter made their roots in West Seattle. Their 25th wedding anniversary was celebrated this past July. The greatest joys in her life were her two daughters: Hanna, now a senior at Tufts University, and Keira, a senior in high school.

Deb was always a sports enthusiast, playing varsity volleyball in high school and on intramural teams. She was a loyal fan of the Sounders, Storm, and the University of Washington Huskies. She was an excellent cook and baker and loved exploring new tastes and flavors. She always had a love for animals, especially dogs, and her yellow lab Bailey will miss her dearly. 

She participated in many volunteer activities including at the YMCA, the Red Cross, voter registration, and at Swedish hospital as a cuddler of newborns. She also spent much of her time while the girls were growing up attending their many concerts and sporting events including soccer, volleyball, basketball, and crew.

Personal relationships were always very important to Deb, and she maintained and treasured those throughout her life. She had a vast number of friends that she met through high school and college and later through involvement in tennis, her gym, and of course the many friends she met through involvement with her daughters' activities.

She is preceded in death by her grandparents, and survived by her husband Mark, daughters Hanna and Keira, parents Ron and Karin Smith, brother Len Smith (Maura), sister Erika Smith, her in-laws Anne and Warren Anderson, her sister-in-law Kristi Anderson, and her many nieces and nephews.

A private family service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers please consider a gift in her memory to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center directed toward lung cancer research at fredhutch.org.


Comments

 

I knew her primarily as a little girl . She obviously did well for herself with a short but amazing life. Please accept our sincere sympathy to all you good and caring friends and family I am sure she is in the loving arms of the father. Her memories will fill us with the warm joy of the life we shared with this precious being

- Brian Juell MD


 

Dear Deb Smith family, I was very saddened to hear of Deb's passing last month. While I hadn't seen her in many years, we grew up together from Boulder Elem. through West High, and had many classes together. She was kind, fun, and very smart. My thoughts are with your whole family. RIP Deb.

- Craig Northam


Keira and family, I adored your mom. She was such a kind person and always had something thoughtful to say, and always made a point to lift up those around her. I have so many sweet memories of your mom; how excited and nervous she was when you got Bailey, how she was always so happy to go out of her way to help give Stellar rides home from Explorer West, how much she wanted a woman in the White House (she really got us laughing about that one day in Northwest Art and Frame, it still makes me giggle!) and how she came to watch our youngest play baseball down at Bar S, when Haven was on the Peaches Team. She was so encouraging and enthusiastic about the girls being in sports. She was a person full of joy and generosity. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to know her, and I will always be inspired by her unconditional goodness. She had the ability to make others feel so important and uniquely appreciated. Sending you so much love, and courage, and patience with your grief at this time. You are loved. Pam Bigatel (and Stellar, and Family)

- Pam Bigatel


My heartfelt condolences to everyone in Deb's family and to all of her friends. I had the honor of meeting Deb in. 2017 when our dogs decided to be best friends at the dog park. Through many long walks with our dogs, I realized that Deb was a very special person. She was so kind, extremely intelligent, and made me laugh more and more with each step that we took.

Mark, I want you to know that she called you "My Rock" and she was always so grateful that she met you on that blind date. Hanna, she looked forward to every basketball game and she was so proud of the strong woman that you have become. Keira, your mom marveled at your creativity and was so proud of you for joining the crew team. Erika, not a walk went by without Deb mentioning you and how lucky that she was to have you as her sister and best friend. Ron and Karin, your daughter often talked about what a great childhood she had and that she treasured the great times that you all had at the cabin. Although I don't know everyone in the family, to all of you....she loved the holidays (especially funny socks), she loved all of you and she valued her family above all other things.

To all of her many many friends, we all had the great fortune of knowing this beautiful and strong woman and we all are better people today for having known her. I was very fortunate that one day Deb decided to join our gym and I had the pleasure of having her in my fitness classes. I've been looking back at photos from some of those classes, and no one was having more fun and making us all laugh more than Deb. I smile fondly when I think of her making her grand entrance on 'Elton John Day" with her big sun glasses, flowered pants and a bright red feathered boa.

Finally to her dog, Bailey...thank you and Klaus for bringing Deb and I together and for the many walks and fabulous conversations that we enjoyed. I only knew Deb for 4 years, but It always felt like I had been walking and talking with her my entire life.

Rest in peace my dear friend...you are very loved and will be sorely missed.

- Mary Catherine Jenson


Hanna,

I read this beautifully-written obituary with great sadness and a wave of remembrance of you and your parents at games.

Was it your mother that made the beautiful gifts on senior night?

Hanna, I am so sorry for your loss and am sending my condolences to you and your family.

respectfully, Sarah (NWS)


My heartfelt condolences to everyone in Deb's family and to all of her friends. I had the honor of meeting Deb in 2017 when our dogs decided to be best friends at the dog park. Through many long walks with our dogs, I realized that Deb was a very special person. She was so kind, extremely intelligent, and made me laugh more and more with each step that we took.

Mark, I want you to know that she called you "My Rock" and she was always so grateful that she met you on that blind date. Hanna, she looked forward to every basketball game and she was so proud of the strong woman that you have become. Keira, your mom marveled at your creativity and was so proud of you for joining the crew team. Erika, not a walk went by without Deb mentioning you and how lucky that she was to have you as her sister and best friend. Ron and Karin, your daughter often talked about what a great childhood she had and that she treasured the great times that you all had at the cabin. Although I don't know everyone in the family, to all of you....she loved the holidays (especially funny socks), she loved all of you and she valued her family above all other things.

To all of her many many friends, we all had the great fortune of knowing this beautiful and strong woman and we all are better people today for having known her. I was very fortunate that one day Deb decided to join our gym and I had the pleasure of having her in my fitness classes. I've been looking back at photos from some of those classes, and no one was having more fun and making us all laugh more than Deb. I smile fondly when I think of her making her grand entrance on 'Elton John Day" with her big sun glasses, flowered pants and a bright red feathered boa.

Finally to her dog, Bailey...thank you and Klaus for bringing Deb and I together and for the many walks and fabulous conversations that we enjoyed. I only knew Deb for 4 years, but It always felt like I had been walking and talking with her my entire life.

Rest in peace my dear friend...you are very loved and will be sorely missed.
 
Mary Catherine Jenson


Hanna, Mark and Keira,

I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. When I first moved to Seattle, Deb was one of the first people I made a connection with. Her sense of humor and kindness made you want to be around her all the time. I feel so incredibly lucky to have known Deb. I am sending you all my love!

Love,
Ryan Griffiths


Dear Mark, Hanna and Keira, I will never forget our years at UCSD with “Deb from Montana”. It was my enormous gift to be her friend. She filled a room with joy and happiness and laughter. She was so smart and funny and kind and generous and loving. We had so much fun playing inner tube water polo and floor hockey and studying and playing cards. It’s with such sadness I write these words. She was taken from us, from you, far too early and for that I am so so very sorry. She loved you all so deeply. She was so proud of her girls. I will always be grateful for knowing her and her friendship and I will always remember her enormous love for her family.

Amanda Rickett Metzger


Deb will always be in the hearts of everyone who knew her at UCSD. We has some too brief reunions for weddings and interviews,
but it was truly a blessing to connect again though good and rough tines in recent years. I wore my blue Zymogenetics sweatshirt with pride for years after one Seattle trip. . Deb was a good humored recipient of endless Montana jokes (that I don’t condone), but they really just reflected our fondness and love for her. Deepest condolences- Scott


Dear Mark, Hanna and Keira,
Debbie was a kind and generous human being.
We knew each other in high school and then reconnected again when we both lived in Seattle in our 20-30’s
She was warm and funny and off the charts smart.
I’ll never forget when she first met you Mark.
She called me to say she had a really great time but wasn’t sure if it was a date or not. We called another friend who dated a lot to confirm.
Hanna and Kiera, your mom was a powerhouse- you couldn’t have had a better example of an independent woman and an amazing mother.
She loved you both so much.
I send you all much love and peace and know my heart is with you all.
Love, Helen Maio and Family


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