TN FF Killed
In the tiny town of Pleasantville, Garry Tanner was a one-man chamber of commerce. He ran a restaurant, started the volunteer fire service, and was vying for a seat on the county commission.
Thursday, his family and community were left wondering what to do without him.
"He's the type of guy who'd do anything for anyone," friend Clinton Moser said.
The Moser brothers saw Tanner leave his tables at the restaurant and head for the tanker truck one last time.
"We were here last night when they got the call for the fire," friend Linton Moser said.
"It was a dryer in a mobile home. ... We thought it was going to be all right," Clinton Moser said.
It wasn't all right. Another emergency brought crews to a pit. They looked in and saw the tanker truck crushed.
"You just see that truck, and your heart just drops to the bottom," Tanner's nephew Jim Tanner said.
The truck may have malfunctioned.
"He knew he had to do something," Jim Tanner said.
Tanner apparently had to choose: hit the pit or hit another driver. Those who knew Tanner know it was no choice.
"If he wanted people to know one thing about him when he left this earth is that he gave back. He couldn't have cared less what happened to him," Jim Tanner said.
His friends do. Friends with the volunteer fire service Tanner helped found filled the community center he helped build.
Tanner's was a life spent helping others that ended the same way.
"He loved his community and fellow man so much it led to the ultimate sacrifice," his friend said.
Garry Tanner was 57 years old. He lived in a small town but had a large family. He was one of ten brothers and sisters.
He leaves behind two grown daughters and three grandchildren. He also leaves behind a wife and a 13-year-old son. That's who friends are really worried about. Tanner did not have life insurance.
A fund has been set up to help Tanner's family. You can make donations to the Garry Tanner Benefit Fund at the First Farmers and Merchants Bank in Centerville.
Republished with permission of WTVF-NewsChannel 5.
Sorry to hear about. I was across the river in Henderson Co most of April and didn't even hear a word about it. Of course I didn't get on the computer and only watched the Jackson news two or three times the whole week.