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New Years Eve in Las Vegas with 8 News NOW

Family, friends gather to honor the life of Jon Huntsman Sr.

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Salt Lake City, Utah- (News4Utah) – He made billions, and gave billions to those suffering physically and financially.

“Going big will always have a special meaning to me, and be a part of everything I do. Thank you, dad for leaving a legacy bigger than our wildest dreams,” said James Huntsman.

Saturday, inside the arena that bares his name, the community came together for a final farewell to Jon Huntsman Sr.

“How grateful I am to this man who would be the first to tell you of his imperfections, but to me he was the perfect father,” said Jennifer Huntsman Parkin.

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were also on hand to pay their respects.

“Brother Huntsman, an extraordinary man, an exceptional leader achieved great success and brought honor and distinction to the people of the state of Utah,” said President Russel M. Nelson.

Local dignitaries and many others also came together to honor his life.

“Dad, you left the world a much better place than when you entered it 80 years ago. And, now you can rejoice with the thousands of souls who have passed before you,” said Paul Huntsman.

From humble beginnings, Huntsman built a billion dollar chemical business from the ground up.

His children say he was tough, fair and resilient. Above all, they say he had a way with people like they have never seen.

“He called it the human touch. It was his secret weapon, because there were no barriers between him and others,” said Jon Huntsman Jr.

Along with the wealth came a sense of responsibility. His charitable contributions go beyond $1.8 billion to foreign aid, education, homeless resources and cancer research.

“The only thing more ambitious than dad’s business ideas were his philanthropic dreams. Often times our biggest struggle was trying to make money as fast as he was giving it away,” said Peter Huntsman.

Huntsman’s desire was to cure cancer. He did not live to see that, but his eight children, 56 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren vow to see it through.

“We promised you dad, this next generation will continue to grow your dreams. We will go forward with faith, lifting one another’s burdens and making a difference in this world,” said Christena Huntsman Durham.

Following the funeral Huntsman was laid to rest at a private ceremony at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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