Hannah and Richard Russell traveled the world together. For Hannah, things were always “better with” her husband. He was her “kindred soul,” kept her laughing, was her “best friend.” It’s abundantly clear from her Instagram that she was deeply in love with her man.
So the cameras, the worldwide attention must make the loss all that much harder to cope with much less comprehend. Indeed, Rich said as he was flying the Q400 he allegedly absconded with into the skies over Puget Sound, that he knew he was hurting people. And he said that he was sorry.
Hannah is a wonderful photographer as was evidenced by her Instagram which was taken down as this post was published, sadly. She’s also a pastry chef and baker, and she and her husband Rich were Christians, as she says, “seeking Jesus.”
Here’s what you need to know about Hannah and Rich:
1. Hannah & Richard Russell Celebrated Their Sixth Wedding Anniversary in January. They Met in 2011 During a Christian College Event
In a 2012 story, Hannah said she she and her future husband, nicknamed Beebo, met during a Christian social event at Southwestern Oregon Community College in 2011. The Campus Crusade for Christ gathering was their first date, she said. “…he kind of cornered me into it.” She said she “shut him down” but Russell persisted. They married in January of 2012.
For the couple’s last two wedding anniversary’s Hannah shared on her Instagram page. In 2017, on their fifth anniversary, she wrote “Five years married to this thoughtful, compassionate, insightful, hilarious, adventurous, good looking, hardworking, sweet and wonderful man. He has taught me to be a better listener, to lighten up and be more spontaneous, that every person has a story to tell worth listening to, how to pronounce “Versace”, given me a love for travel and thanks to him I have learned how to remove a Swedish fish stain from cargo pants (PSA: if you stash candy in your pockets, eat it or remove it before sending it through the wash). I am so thankful that God gave him to me. Here’s to many more years full of laughter, travel, learning together, seeking Jesus, and hilarious laundry mishaps!”
On their sixth, this past January, Hannah wrote, “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words, but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’” -A.A. Milne I’m so happy to have found such a kindred soul. Happy 6 years ?”
2. The Couple Were World Travelers & Adventurers. Hannah Captured & Shared Their Sojourns
At once poignant and surely painful, Hannah’s first Instagram photos of the couple traveling was a trip to Alaska in 2016 with images taken from the plane. Russell was an employee of Horizon Air. Her page was removed as this post was published and so all the images are no longer available but she posted pictures from the Eiffel Tower to the Empire State Building.
Rich Russell also posted many photos of the couple, and himself, traveling the world.
3. Rich Wrote About Hannah on His College Communications Class Blog From the Fall of 2017
Russell, who was born in Key West, Florida, and moved to Wasilla, Alaska when he was 7, introduces himself to his classmates on his class blog, “Hey all! My names Richard Russell, I’m 27 and currently living in Sumner, WA with my incredible wife Hannah.”
Russell explains that he “met Hannah in Coos Bay, Oregon in 2010 while we were both going to school. We were married one year later.” Later in his blog he wrote, “”I’m from Alaska, and my wife grew up in Washington state. After our first 3 years of marriage in Coos Bay, Oregon we decided to move closer to family. Alaska was a tough sell because of the horrible weather Hannah experienced during her 3 previous trips there. Flight benefits were my last hope of seeing my beloved family and state on a regular basis.”
And so he wrote, “Failing to convince Hannah of Alaska’s greatness, we settled on Sumner because of its close proximity to her family.”
Russell wrote that since he’d begun working for Horizon Airlines, he was “able to fly to Alaska at my leisure.”
“In this season of life we enjoy exploring as much as possible, whether its a day (or so) trip to one of Alaska Airline’s destinations, or visiting a new area of Washington,” he wrote about he and Hannah’s life together.
Beebo Russell’s blog is a rich and colorful trove of words and images, mostly related to his college communications class projects of content media and ideas like his, “Russell Hustle,” for example, but also very personal with insights into he and Hannah’s life. They appeared to be living their best life.
4. Hannah is a Pastry Chef & Baker. She & Rich Opened a Bakery 1 Month After Getting Married
In a sweet story written about the couple and their new bakery in 2012, Russell admitted he knew nothing about baking but was learning from his wife. In his blog he told his fellow classmates about their venture: “One month after (they were married) we opened a bakery which we successfully ran for three years. We decided to sell and move in 2015,” to Sumner, Washington.
“Beebo Russell had no experience baking, so when they opened the bakery he became Hannah’s apprentice, he said.
Owning and operating a bakery is hard work, the couple learned. The bakery itself is little more than a large kitchen, with two counters, a sink in the corner and an oven on the far wall.
Hannah Marie’s Artisan Breads and Pastries is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but the Russells are generally up at 5 a.m. and don’t get home until later in the evening, Beebo Russell said.
“If we get in a fight while we’re working, it sucks,” Hannah Russell said. But: “He can tell if I’m getting overwhelmed or stressed,” she said.
Her husband nodded. “We have different personalities, so we can play off each other well,” he said.
Hannah is detail-oriented and a slight perfectionist, she said, while Beebo — more laid-back and outgoing — is eager to experiment with new and wild recipes.
The couple laughed at each other.
On their back wall hung a chalkboard sign with a hand-written Bible verse:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt.”
In his blog, Russell wrote that the couple were very much “bakery connoisseurs and have to try a new one every place we go.”
Hannah deleted her Instagram for privacy but know that it was filled with beautiful images of her pastries and other bakes goods. One shared on the TheFeedFeed.com, was made with love and “…Fresh peaches, cinnamon, a hint of nutmeg, spiced oatmeal streusel, knock out pie crust from (who else?) Julia Child . . . #allgoodthings #peach #pie #minipie #weddingseason #pastry #bake #thebakefeed #thefeedfeed #onmytable #food52”
5. During the Fated Flight, While on Live Radio With Air Traffic & Pilots, Rich Apologized For Hurting the Many People Who Cared For Him
In heart-stopping video and audio that documented the fated flight of Russell in the cockpit of a stolen Horizon Air Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, he opened up to an air traffic captain that he was sorry for the people that loved and cared for him.
“I’ve got a lot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them that I did this. I would like t apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy. Got a few screws loose. Never really knew it until now.”