SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Jon Huntsman Sr. was laid to rest Saturday, leaving behind a legacy in Utah as a billionaire, a leader in his industry, a philanthropist and a prominent member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“No exercise is better for the human heart than reaching down and lifting another up.”
Those words welcomed hundreds of people into the Huntsman Center Saturday, to celebrate and remember the life of the man who lived by them, Jon Huntsman Senior.
“You could tell he loved people, he had the ability to look at somebody and see who they were and what they needed,” said one attendee.
“In all of my years in public service, I’ve never known a more generous, kind and thoughtful man,” said former US Senator Harry Reid.
“His legacy is one of love for everyone that transcends political differences, that transcends backgrounds, that transcends pretty much everything,” said Utah Attorney General, Sean Reyes.
It was Huntsman senior’s legacy that created a global corporation, a cancer institute, and a lifetime of humanitarian giving (amounting to more than 1.5 billion dollars).
“Today it kind of feels like a part of Utah died with him, a beautiful part of the state all of the sudden, seems gone. Today we bury a body but unleash a legacy,” said Jon Huntsman Jr.
But it wasn’t those things that Jon Huntsman Sr. wanted to be remembered for.
In his last interview with FOX 13 he said he wanted to be remembered, “as an honorable husband ….as a fun and exciting and thoughtful and loving father, far far above anything else… and I guess next, if there is a next, someone who cared about their fellow man and woman with equal feelings of love and concern and respect of their origins, their backgrounds and their faiths, someone who just loved everybody the same,” Huntsman senior said.
“Dad isn’t around to ask, as he always did at family events, ‘How do you think it went?’” recalled Jon Huntsman Jr.
And in a room filled with family, faith and service, Jon Huntsman Jr. had one answer,
“Homerun dad, everything you hoped for.”
Jon Huntsman Sr. was 80 years old.