It is always hard to find the words and say goodbye to someone that gave so much of themselves to a place you love. Our friend and former Facilities Director Russell Hunnewell passed away on June 3, 2020. The unexpected and suddenness of his passing hits home and hits hard. Russell was a huge part of The Mountain for many years. Before he was an employee Russell was a guest, a volunteer and a donor. He and his friend Jim spent many years visiting the Mountain and making a difference by donating their time, treasure and talents. Russell always believed that a place like this is rare and much needed in our society. Although, he secretly loved to see his name on the board in the dining hall, he let his actions speak louder than his words. When Russell started work at The Mountain in 2016 as the Facilities Director he immediately brought his energy, generosity and love to everything he did. He worked tirelessly for the betterment of the Mountain, taking the lead on replacing the Great Room and Dining Hall windows, resurfacing the lodge deck and countless other projects. Russell also loved adopting volunteers and spending the summer working with the ASCENDERS. He believed “The Ascender program is something every young man and woman should have available” and that “Our summer camp teaches the values of life. All stuff my parents did not teach.” He often worked day and night to give special attention to guests, he was never too busy to help, and cherished the opportunity to lead a fire-lit labyrinth walk. Although our friend will be missed, he will always be part of our community, our hearts and our Mountain.
Earlier this June we lost Russell Hunnewell, a very beloved member of The Mountain community. His brother Don Hunnewell wanted to express his thanks and thoughts around his passing with the larger Mountain community.
"I’m very grateful for the many thousands of pics that I received last week. The pics confirmed what I already knew, but forgot while in deep grief over the extremely painful loss of my life long loving friend, a true soul mate, a twin separated by 15 months, my dear brother, Russell.
For all of you here on FB who were so lucky to know all the beauty within his soul, I’m sorry I couldn’t pull together the strength to contact you privately and personally. I’m still totally overwhelmed, so please also forgive me for not being able to respond to your loving comments, texts, and calls as promptly as I wish I could. His death was very sudden and unexpected. After the family memorial service in Maine, I will work on a social distanced safe memorial here in Atlanta. Please know that Russell was never afraid of the ‘other side’ of life. He loved traveling and is now on to yet “another adventure to the other side,” his words."
Thank you Russell for who you were. He cared deeply for those he came in contact with at The Mountain and wanted it to be a home for others as it was for him. Russell you made the world a better place because you existed. You were a good caretaker and steward, and truly cared for people and what has been given to us. Russell is in the process of becoming a Memorial Life Member and will be honored at the labyrinth, as it was dear to him to lead others on their own journeys there.