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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Seattle attorney with zest for travel died in Whidbey floatplane crash

By Daniel Beekman Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Gabby Hanna, a 29-year-old attorney from Seattle with a zest for travel who cooked elaborate meals for her adoring family, was one of the 10 people who died in a floatplane crash Sunday off Whidbey Island, Washington.

A graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and the University of Washington School of Law, Hanna was an associate in the Seattle office of Cooley LLP, an international law firm.

“She was a fierce, fierce young woman, in the best of ways,” her father, Dave von Beck, said in an interview Tuesday, describing his daughter as funny, bright and an explorer.

“There are no words to describe the pain,” von Beck added. “Her family loved her very much.”

Born in Idaho, Hanna mostly grew up in Seattle. She competed on the swim teams at Garfield High and at Occidental College in Los Angeles, having learned to swim at the West Seattle YMCA with her older sister, Jordan, whom she was “best friends” with and shared countless adventures, von Beck said.

“She was the best little sister,” said her mother, Marcie von Beck. “They were like twins.”

In college, Hanna double majored in philosophy and political science. In law school, she served as the executive managing editor of the Washington Law Review. At Cooley, she worked with clients in commercial and securities litigation and in internal and governmental investigations. John Robertson, partner in charge of the Seattle office, called the crash a “terrible tragedy.”

Hanna hiked, sometimes alone and sometimes with the family dog, traveled solo through Vietnam and Europe and dazzled her family with culinary creations, like pita bread from scratch, “glorious charcuterie boards” and an array of other dishes and desserts, her parents said, struggling to come to grips with their loss.

“Any cuisine from anywhere, she would try it – here’s a six-course meal,” Dave von Beck said. “She was just amazing.”

Hanna was on her way home from a friend’s wedding, her father said, when the plane flying from Friday Harbor to Renton suddenly went down.

Initially, her parents only knew that her flight was late. Then they received the bad news, Dave von Beck said, and their “world fell apart.”