Remembering Deborah Lin Smith, 1966-2021

Family and friends are remembering Deborah Lin Smith and sharing this remembrance with her community:

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, 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, 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. To share your condolences and memories of Deb with her family and friends, visit In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in her memory to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, directed toward lung cancer research at

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

13 Replies to "Remembering Deborah Lin Smith, 1966-2021"

  • Friend from the Barre January 12, 2022 (11:20 am)

    Rest in peace, sweet friend Deb.  She was too young and vibrant to go, I’m so angry at Cancer!  My thoughts are with her family during their time of loss.  Deb was such a treasure, she will be missed.  

    • Heather January 12, 2022 (2:33 pm)

      Deb really was a treasure. I wish I had the words to express just how cool she was, and how much she’ll be missed. She always made me laugh and feel supported. I know her love, kindness, and amazing sense of humor will live on in Hanna and Keira. I send love to all of her family and friends as they grieve. 

  • Al Semple January 12, 2022 (12:06 pm)

    I did not know her but she was so pretty and way too young Young. Rest in peace

  • KB January 12, 2022 (1:28 pm)

    I knew Deb way back when her daughter attended Tilden School. Such a lovely person, and a lovely family. She was a huge volunteer and support for our school community. Sending love and hugs to her family.

  • Allison Carver January 12, 2022 (2:18 pm)

    I just learned of Deb’s passing today and I am so shocked and sad. Deb & I met as brand-new moms in our neighborhood PEPS group, and my heart breaks for her husband Mark, and her girls Hanna and Keira, all of whom she loved so much. When I got involved in refugee work in 2016, Deb jumped into to help too—she was so smart, so caring and resilient. My husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2020, and that’s when I learned of Deb’s own cancer journey—she reached out to offer support, encouragement and above all love. Thats just who Deb was. I’m sending strength and prayers for comfort to all who will miss her—she was a beautiful soul and one of a kind. Rest In Peace and Power, my friend—until we meet again. 

  • EP January 12, 2022 (7:18 pm)

    I knew Deb when our daughters were in co-op preschool together. She was a wonderful human being. Always volunteering. Easy to talk to. Loved her daughters dearly.  Always there with a smile. Even when we didn’t see each other for years and would run into each other around WS she gave a great hug hello. She will be missed by all those tho knew her…

  • Erin Pedras January 12, 2022 (7:33 pm)

    I knew Deb when our daughters were in co-op preschool together. She was a wonderful human being. Always volunteering. Easy to talk to. Loved her daughters dearly.  Always there with a smile. Even when we didn’t see each other for years and would run into each other around WS she gave a great big hug hello. We even ejoyed a Rick Springfield concert together!!  She will be missed by all those tho knew her…

  • Sally Hardwick January 12, 2022 (7:35 pm)

    I am so very sorry to hear this! Our daughters are the same age and were friends when they went to elementary school together. My heart goes out to her husband and their two daughters.  Deb was a bright, kind soul—she was always ready with a smile.  I am picturing that, and I can hear her laugh now.  Cancer sucks and there is no fairness about this at all.  Damn it.  Love and peace to her family and friends.  ❣️

  • Susan Hamilton January 12, 2022 (8:35 pm)

    Sending condolences, peace and strength to Deb’s family. I am so so saddened to learn of her passing. Our paths crossed at Alki Elementary School-Deb had an infectious smile and boundless energy; she was witty and wicked smart. I am so sorry for your loss and heart hurt. 

  • Sarah Leggett January 12, 2022 (9:51 pm)

    My heart broke when I read this. I knew Deb when our daughters went to Alki elementary together. Deb was always there to volunteer where ever needed. She loved her daughters immensely. She was a great advocate for education. Allison I read your message about Deb and it was very touching, I’m am so sorry to hear about Lars and hope he is doing well. Deb left a lasting impression on everyone she met and she definitely left one on the Leggett family. 

  • Carolyn January 12, 2022 (10:28 pm)

    I know Deb through her youngest daughter Kiera as she and my son went to Tilden together. She became a friend and after Tilden I would often see her walking Bailey at Lincoln Park, she was a basketball ball coach to my son and I will always remember her enthusiasm and love for sports. Holding dear Kiera in our hearts and Debs family in our prayers.

  • Laura Wood January 13, 2022 (8:43 am)

    I’m so sorry to hear this news about a fellow Tilden parent. Sending love to her family.

  • Tana Burke January 17, 2022 (7:51 pm)

    I am so sad to hear of Deb’s passing…She was brilliant & beautiful. In my reflection, I feel her smile and it makes me want to smile! I have no doubt she touched many and raised strong girls, I will pray their family ❤️

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