May 7th 1949 - Jun 12th 2012
George Marshall Hanks passed away at his home in Traverse City on June 10, 2012, surrounded by his loving family after a one-year battle with bladder cancer. He will be dearly missed.
George was born to John and Nellie Hanks on May 7, 1949, in Warren, Ohio. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Detroit. He attended Christ the King grade school, University of Detroit High School, Redford High School and Wayne State University, where he was a member of the prestigious Men’s Glee Club.
George was mechanically gifted from an early age, and became a master automotive mechanic, certified by the State of Michigan and the Automotive Service of Excellence. He owned and operated GP Motors, an import automotive repair facility in Detroit, for many years. He was community-minded and supported and mentored many a young mechanic at his neighborhood business. He loved sports cars, stick shifts, and driving with the top down.
On Aug. 16, 1968, he married Penny McGuigan, his high school sweetheart, and together they raised four wonderful children. In 1990, George moved his family to Traverse City to enjoy the great outdoors. Here he developed a love of cross country skiing, and competed in the VASA ski race each year. He loved sailing his boat on Grand Traverse Bay in the summers, and totally embraced the life of a hard water sailor, building and racing his own Ice Boat in the winter. He often could be seen paddling his restored “Old Town” canoe along the Boardman River. George was a member of the Grand Traverse Yacht Club, Grand Traverse Ice Yacht Club, and sailed on Thursday nights with the Interlake fleet.
George retired in 2007 after a 40-year career in the automotive service industry. He will be remembered for his ability to diagnose what others could not, and the respect that he showed his customers. He was a gentle, quiet man, and he enjoyed simple things — like flip flops, Pecan Sandies, his Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob pipe, and holding hands with Penny. He was secure in his faith, and he loved his family more than anything — the grandchildren were the icing on the cake.
George is survived by his wife of 43 years, Penny; his sons, James (Robin) Hanks, of Pleasant Ridge, David Hanks, of Dearborn Heights, and J. Patrick (Jennifer) Hanks, of Livonia; his daughter, Erin Hanks, of Traverse City; and seven grandchildren, Christian, Megan, Erin, Brigid, Gavyn, Coraline and Ciaran. He is also survived by his siblings, Sheila Hanks and her son, John, of Ouagodougoo, West Africa, Joseph (Diane) Hanks, of Detroit, and Mary (Steve) Warner and their son, Joe, of San Francisco.
He was preceded in death by his father, mother, and a sister, Brigid.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. June 24 at the home of James Hanks, 22 Ridge Road, Pleasant Ridge.
Those wishing to make a memorial gift may do so to Traverse Area Community Sailing, Fleet of the Future program, dedicated to teaching the art of sailing to all area youth.
The family would like to thank Hospice of Michigan for the loving care they provided George during the last few days of his life.
Please visit George’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com to sign the guestbook and share a message or memory with his family.
The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City, to handle the cremation.