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Community shocked by apparent murder-suicide
Hank Tanner
Hank Tanner

The apparent murder-suicide involving a prominent businessman and his wife, who was a beautician, has shocked and saddened the community.

Hank Tanner, 60, and Ginger Tanner, 54, were found dead from gunshot wounds Thursday morning at their home on Wynwood Drive in the Poplar Springs Road area, according to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

The call came in just before 10 a.m. from a neighbor who, at the request of a family member, went to check the home and found it open.

Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said this morning that it appears Hank Tanner was the shooter.

Wilbanks said the investigation so far indicates the incident is "domestic related and appears to be a murder-suicide."

Friends and colleagues of both Hank and Ginger Tanner mourned their loss.

Connie Finks worked with Ginger Tanner for five years at the salon where she was a hair stylist and knew her for 28 years.

Finks said throughout the day, colleagues and friends would be meeting to support each other, mourn and remember the "bubbly, friendly" woman at 2 Shae Salon in Washington Commons, on John Morrow Parkway.

"There will be people there that she had taken care of for many years," she said.

"She was happy. Always happy and laughing, no matter what was going on. She was a very bubbly, friendly person," Finks said. "It’s very upsetting, and we would like to be able to say something on her behalf, on what she was and what she did for lots of people."

Finks said Tanner had worked as a beautician for "probably 30 to 34 years."

"She started right out of high school," Finks said. "She was a very hard-working lady; 12 hours, 13 hours a day she would work."

Tanner was well-known in the community by many of the salons, Finks said, as she previously owned National Beauty Supply in Gainesville, which sold supplies to hairdressers all over.

"She does so much for people. She did charity work, all kinds of things to help people, and worked hard to send both her children through college," she said. "I could just go on and on."

Hank Tanner was an active member of the Gainesville Rotary Club. President of the club from 2007-2008, he was inducted in 1997, and had most recently served as the club’s webmaster. He also was the president of National Business Brokers Inc. in Gainesville.

Frank Norton Jr., Rotary member and co-executive of a Gainesville insurance company, said Tanner had forged a business partnership with the agency just a few weeks ago, joining the commercial group.

"He was very positive about his move to the Norton Agency," he added.

"I spent about an hour and a half with him yesterday," Norton said, noting nothing seemed out of the ordinary. "It was a shock. It’s very sad; the whole situation is very sad."

Doug Langman, another fellow Rotarian, worked closely with Tanner as his sergeant at arms on the Rotary Board of Directors. He said Thursday that the Auburn, Ga., native was “completely devoted” to the club.

“In the time I’ve known Hank in Rotary, there is no one more devoted, more dedicated than he was,” he said.

In addition to his local duties as webmaster, Tanner served as secretary to the regional district that encompassed about 77 Rotary clubs, Langman said.

“Hank really exemplified the Rotary motto, which is ‘service above self,’” he said.

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