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Farewell, dear Frances

Frances Smersh

Frances Suzanne (Cousins) Smersh passed away on September 4th, 2021 at the age of 54, in Seattle, Washington. She died from complications of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease which she was diagnosed with six and a half years prior. She is survived by her husband, John Francis Smersh of Seattle, and sister Natalie Cousins-Robledo (husband Ted Robledo, son Enzo) of Pasadena, CA.

Frances was born in the Greater Los Angeles area where she lived with her mother, father, grandmother and sister. After graduating from St. Joseph High School, she studied at Loyola Marymount University, earning her degree in Sociology in 1989. It was there at LMU that Frances met her partner for life, John. After college they lived in Venice Beach, CA for two years. They married in 1990 and moved to Seattle's Fremont neighborhood in 1991, where she started her first business, Smersh Design Jewelry. The couple moved to West Seattle in 1994 and bought a home in the North Admiral neighborhood.

Living in West Seattle, Frances continued to explore the art of jewelry making, first designing and creating and then selling her pieces at art fairs before expanding to wholesale markets, eventually selling her work in hundreds of stores across the US and internationally. Her passion for art and design flourished over the years leading her to expand and innovate her jewelry using unconventional materials like Concrete and Pearls, Cork, and Powder Coated Steel to make exquisite, wearable art.

In 2004, it was Frances's creative spark that inspired Click! Design that Fits, a contemporary gift and accessory boutique co-created and curated by herself and husband, John. In 2010 they moved the store to the West Seattle Junction where it continues to thrive today.

Following her successes in jewelry, Frances transitioned to creating visual art through painting and sketching, regularly showing as the featured artist at Click!. Her catalog of work is vast and diverse, and has garnered a great deal of attention within the Seattle art-loving community.

Above all else, Frances had an inspiring, uplifting, and giving soul and she always went out of her way to bring joy to the people around her. All who knew her were touched by her kindness and she will be greatly missed. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Washington State chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.

Services will be held in late September. Updates will be made to the Caring Bridge journal as details are finalized.


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  • jeff on

    I met Francis when CLICK was in the North Admiral area. She always took time to show me her jewelry and later, her paintings. I was lucky. I will miss those creative conversations and her generosity of sharing. CLICK and Francis always recognized the importance of community. They supported the West Seattle blog from early beginnings. Thank you

  • Tom McGurk and Danielle McGurk on

    We are so sorry for your loss. Francis was a beautiful soul, so very talented, and such a beautiful person. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Theresa on

    “Grief is love with nowhere to go”
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    She was lovely women and know she will be missed dearly.

  • Ann Stanford on

    She was indeed one of the kindest souls on earth. I remember her as always among, fun loving, gentle, full of positive energy. I cannot even begin to imagine the loss for you, John. Also her sister and family. You are all in my thoughts daily.

  • Nancy Bonnema on

    I first met Frances and John over 20 years ago at the Bellevue Arts and Craft Fair. I was not only inspired by their creativity but by what an awesome team they were.
    The years have flown by and I wear Frances earrings so proudly and so often to honor her and the gift she has given to not only the artists she has inspired but the individuals she has touched.
    Thank you Frances for touching my life and gracing all around you. You will be so greatly remembered and loved.



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