Remembering longtime West Seattleite Faye Franks, 1918-2012

From her family:

Esther Faye Franks, 94, died of natural causes in West Seattle on July 10, supported by her extended family and friends.

Faye was born February 10, 1918, in Lakeview, Kansas, a small farming community. She was the second of five children born to Mattie and Ebon Anderson. Faye graduated from the University of Kansas in 1941 and taught high-school home economics, where she met Kermit Franks, teaching at the same school. They were married in February 1942, ten days before he was drafted into the Army. His service was in Alaska, and when the war ended the couple decided to live in Seattle. They started a family and Kerm began a 30-year career with Seattle Public Schools. Faye spent many years involved in PTA, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Euthenics – an organization for Home Economics graduates.

From 1961 to 1975, Faye and Kerm co-managed the Seabeck Conference Center on Hood Canal. They are remembered fondly as “Auntie Faye” and “Uncle Kerm” by the many former staff members, who were high-school and college youth at the time.

For more than 25 years beginning in 1963, Faye and Kerm hosted a series of exchange students from Europe, Asia and Central America. She was the regional International Christian Youth Exchange coordinator and served on the national board. They also traveled to a number of countries, visiting the families of their student guests.

The couple built a cabin at Lake Cushman, near Hoodsport, Washington, in 1976. They spent summers there, encouraging visits from family and friends. Faye enjoyed square dancing, hiking, swimming, and berry and mushroom picking well into her 80s. She was skilled at sewing, rug-making and other needle arts. She was our bread-baker supreme and taught bread baking classes for many years.

Faye was an active member of Tibbetts United Methodist Church in West Seattle. One of her favorite volunteer jobs was helping oversee the annual church rummage sale. She was known for “rescuing” many sale items to ensure they would have a good home, even if it meant in her home. Faye taught the AARP safe driving course for many years and also served as course coordinator.

Faye and Kerm celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with family and friends at an open house on February 26 at The Kenney residential community in West Seattle.

She is survived by husband Kerm; daughters Marsha (Mike) and Candace (John); sons Dean (Cynthia) and David; sister Doris Stubeck; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; four nephews and three nieces.

A memorial service will be held in September. Donations may be made to Seabeck Conference Center or Tibbetts United Methodist Church.

5 Replies to "Remembering longtime West Seattleite Faye Franks, 1918-2012"

  • transplantella July 15, 2012 (2:11 pm)


  • Alan (Seabeck staff '72 and '73) July 15, 2012 (2:23 pm)

    I was one of the many lucky people that got to work for “Auntie Faye” and “Uncle Kerm” at Seabeck. They truly provided a safe family-like environment that allowed us all to grow up a bit more. Farewell Auntie Faye

  • Donna Simonsen July 16, 2012 (10:41 am)

    Faye’s Family: Thank you for sharing your wife and mother with us. Faye was a speical lady and we worked well together on the ICYE exchange committee. Our children called her Grandmom, she filled that space for them. I am so thankful that we got that “last” visit in and shared some berry pie. We know she is in a better space and we look forward to seeing her again.
    Blessings, Donna and Dennis

  • Wendy July 16, 2012 (9:39 pm)

    Faye was a member of Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB Sponsor). She will be missed by her church family.

  • Ann July 17, 2012 (8:42 am)

    Their is an aspect of their lives I did not see in this well-written memorial to Faye. Faye and Kermit were among the first Democrats I met in West Seattle when we moved here in 1976, but I didn’t see them often. Then I took over the job of finding and reconfirming poll judges in the late 1990’s. For many, many years, Faye and Kermit worked together making sure that voters had access to well-run elections in their neighborhoods. Thank you, Faye, for all your years of giving to the community. You are missed. My heartfelt condolences to the family.

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