Click! Design That Fits proprietors share personal news: ‘Frances, John, and Alzheimer’s’

(John & Frances Smersh @ Click’s 11th anniversary celebration. Photo by Eliott Peacock)
The proprietors of Click! Design That Fits, longtime independent West Seattle business (and longtime WSB sponsor), have just gone public with some personal news, and friends and family have at the same time come up with a way to support them.

Here’s what’s happening: Frances Smersh, who has run Click! with husband John Smersh for 11 years, has been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Frances is only 48.

As the e-mail to Click!’s mailing list today – headed “Frances, John, and Alzheimer’s” – explains, “While the timeline is uncertain, Early Onset Alzheimer’s can move quickly, and what we do know is that the next twelve months will be the best Frances and John can expect to have together. Essentially, this next year will be their best year.” That’s what Frances’s doctor told them this fall, a few months after the initial diagnosis. Alzheimer’s remains an incurable disease, no matter what the patient’s age.

The store will stay in business. But Frances and John hope to spend some extra time together during that “best year.” John says, “I intend to continue working, but hopefully in a capacity that allows me to keep myself healthy and able to be her primary caregiver. Frances has already become less involved in the business, meaning I’ve had to pick up more, when I really feel like we should be handing responsibility off to a manager so that we can have time together, while it lasts. I know there will be a time when I don’t have her any more …”

So, as the announcement adds, “Friends and family have started a fundraiser to raise money to help with medical costs and to allow them to step away from Click! for a while, enjoy their life, and figure out what’s next.” That page is on

Frances is an artist whose work has long been part of the Click! offerings, including jewelry, and she also paints – she is this month’s highlighted artist and will be showing and selling her newest work during tomorrow night’s West Seattle Art Walk, 6-9 pm. The monthly Art Walk has always been a meaningful event for Click! – John has long led the committee that organizes it, part of their community involvement beyond the all-encompassing work of running an independent local business that supports local artists and other creators.

P.S. If you are interested in helping, but not online, please send postal mail to John at the store, 4540 California SW, Seattle 98116.

17 Replies to "Click! Design That Fits proprietors share personal news: 'Frances, John, and Alzheimer's'"

  • Westseattlek November 11, 2015 (4:07 pm)

    So sad to hear and hopeful that the future can be bright for both of them.

  • Paul November 11, 2015 (4:22 pm)

    I’m really sorry to hear this. Click! is such a cool store that is part of why we love West Seattle. My best wishes to both of them.

  • FJ November 11, 2015 (4:50 pm)

    such sad news. they are both amazing people. wishing the best to the both of them during this difficult time.

  • miws November 11, 2015 (5:17 pm)

    Best wishes to Frances and John on this journey…



  • E November 11, 2015 (5:33 pm)

    I’m so sorry but hope this is the best year ever for them.

  • Trickycoolj November 11, 2015 (6:01 pm)

    My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at 68 while not considered early onset, still feels early considering I have older colleagues. My heart broke when I got the email today. I wish them both strength as they face all the future challenges ahead. I hope they are able to enjoy their time peacefully together and with family and friends.

  • lox November 11, 2015 (6:21 pm)

    Blessings to this family. I love their positive spirit, though I’m sure they have endured some very dark days. Best wishes for the Best Year.

  • Northwest November 11, 2015 (6:46 pm)

    At a loss words ….courageous to bring this out like this to the community best of times ahead….

  • Perusa November 11, 2015 (7:04 pm)

    I am so sorry to hear about this. I frequent Click! often to purchase gifts, greeting cards, etc. It is my go-to place along with Capers for unique items. Frances is always so kind and nice to chat with. My thoughts are with them both.

  • mapgrl November 11, 2015 (7:31 pm)

    My husband and I are regular Click! shoppers and always look forward to seeing Frances and John at the store. Hopefully we won’t see too much of them over the next year as they spend their “Best Year” together.

  • Homedk November 11, 2015 (10:53 pm)

    Don’t know Frances and John personally, but am saddened to read this news. Hoping that their upcoming “best year” is wonderful, and that the years beyond will turn out better than anticipated.

  • Kitnpants November 12, 2015 (6:59 am)

    Wow! I just looked at the fund raising Page, and I’m proud of my west seattle community! We are a caring group of people who look out for eachother.

  • Michelle November 12, 2015 (7:20 am)

    This is the thing about Frances and John, it is wonderful to know them so well having just shopped at the store from the beginning. That is not always the case with business owners and the artist!!!! God Bless!!!!!

  • Curate November 12, 2015 (8:54 am)

    Lovely people, fabulous store, heartbreaking news. I hope that their “Best Year” is full of joy and peace.

  • Click! Design That Fits November 12, 2015 (11:45 am)

    Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and generosity. This community is simply the best, and John and Frances are grateful beyond words. Keep sending them love and sharing the campaign with friends and neighbors! You are helping give them the best year. We are so grateful for all of you and your kindness.

  • Scubafrog November 12, 2015 (9:12 pm)

    Big hugs, John and Frances, and much love!

  • justme November 13, 2015 (10:37 am)


    I’m so happy you two decided to share your journey. You have been on my mind since I read this the day it was posted. Thank you for all you’ve done for this community.
    Hugs to both of you!

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