Xiaojie “Emily” Tan was saving for a dream retirement that included traveling the world. Bullets ended that dream when Tan was gunned down two days before her 50th birthday in the spa she owned outside Atlanta.
Tan was one of eight victims, six of whom were Asian women, killed in a rampage across three day spas. The accused shooter, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, who blamed the rampage on his “sex addiction,” is now facing charges including “malice murder” for the attacks.
A few dozen friends and relatives of Tan gathered at the Catholic Church of St. Ann in Marietta, Georgia, to say farewell earlier this week. The service was streamed online.
A framed photo at the altar showed Tan smiling and holding a birthday cake, the candles lighting her face.
Tan, who lived in Kennesaw, owned the Cherokee County spa where she died.
Loved ones said the petite mother of a recent University of Georgia grad, was a “feminist without meaning to be,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. She was a lifelong Catholic whose father had a mission in China,
She came to the states in 2008 with her ex-husband, Michael Webb, who she met in the southern Chinese city of Nanning. They were married in 2004 and spent their first few years together traveling to small cities and villages throughout China
In Georgia, Tan took a job as a nail technician. She saved her money and bought a nail salon, then a home. She also bought a home for her mother in China, a reflection of the kindness she showed to others, her family said.
A doting mom, Tan shared trips with her daughter Ying Tan “Jami” Webb, and they attended Mass together. She was overjoyed when Jami graduated college.
Tan spent most of her time at her spa. She was saving money for retirement and had hoped to travel the world when she stopped working.
Earlier this week, a separate service was held for Yong Ae Yue, 63, who was also gunned down in the rampage. Private services for Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, 33, and Hyun Jung Kim Grant, 51, were also held during the week.