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Community members react to death of Jon Hunstman Sr.

Local (Utah/State News)
Jon M Huntsman, Sr.

SALT LAKE CITY (New4Utah)-Businessman and philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr. has died at the age of 80.

Huntsman was known by many as a selfless public servant.

For me, the true measure of success is not how much wealth you acquire but how much of it you give back.-Jon Hunstman Sr.

Jon Hunstman established the Huntsman Cancer Foundation in 1995 with the purpose of easing the suffering for those who had cancer. He will be missed by many.

Community reacts to his death:

Lane Beattie, Salt Lake Chamber president and CEO

“Utah, and in fact the world, has lost an icon, a generous champion and example to all businesses, communities and individuals. Jon and Karen Huntsman, with their commitment to Utah, have been a stimulus to many families, businesses and corporations that make our State their home. Their compassion and care has given people the confidence and determination to succeed. Their generosity has lifted the needy, blessed the sick and inspired us all. Jon was a true beacon on the hill, and his passing is a loss to so many of us that called him a friend. Jon wasn’t only a Giant in our City, he was a Giant to all mankind.”

In 2005, Jon M. Huntsman Sr. was awarded the Salt Lake Chamber “Giant in Our City” award, for his exceptional and distinguished public service and extraordinary professional achievement.

Mayor Jackie Biskupski

“Jon Huntsman, Sr. had an immeasurable impact on Salt Lake City, Utah, and the world as a whole. His personal commitment to philanthropy saved lives and inspired others to do the same. Our deepest sympathy is with the Huntsman family, and with all of those who were personally touched by Jon’s legacy.”

Rep. John Curtis

Words fail to describe the impact of Jon Huntsman Sr. Though his legacy of service, charitable causes and commitment to cancer research will live on his loss is heart breaking. Something I love about him the most is how generous he’s been and how philanthropic even before he came into his wealth. Sue and I send our love and prayers to the Huntsman family during this difficult time. Utah and this country are a better place because of Jon.

Senator Orrin Hatch

“Jon Huntsman Sr. was a committed public servant, a visionary businessman, and perhaps the greatest philanthropist our state has ever known. He was also a trusted confidante and a dear friend. Utah has lost a lion today. Elaine and I send all our love to the Huntsman family at this difficult time.”

Governor Gary Herbert

Jeanette and I are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. Jon was a successful businessman and a tremendous philanthropist.

Jon was not only a champion of business and philanthropy, but also a tremendous champion of our state. His loyalty to Utah was remarkable.

He loved his family and was fiercely loyal to them. You would be hard-pressed to find someone with a more closely knit family than the Huntsmans. In this regard, Jon was an especially good example to all of us.

A visionary man with a strong personality, Jon was not afraid to wade into the issues of the day. That drive was personified in his battle against cancer. Not only did he fight his own personal battle, but through the establishment of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, he gave his vast resources to help others wage a battle against cancer as well.

We have lost a giant in our state history. His influence is felt far beyond the borders of Utah. He is one of the greatest Utahns ever to live.

Our hearts are with his wife Karen, and the entire Huntsman family.

Chris Hill, University of Utah Athletics

Speaker Greg Hughes

I am devastated by the news of the passing of Jon Huntsman Sr. Mr. Huntsman has been a dear friend and an incredible mentor. He counseled me often and taught me the true meaning of service. To say I will miss him, his grit and his incredible compassion would be a gross understatement. My thoughts and prayers are with his great family at this time.

House Democratic Minority Leader Rep. Brian King

House Minority Leader Rep. Brian King said, “Jon Huntsman Sr. was not just an inventive businessman and entrepreneur. He was a compassionate philanthropist who improved the quality of huge numbers of Utahns, Americans, and citizens of the world. He was wise, passionate, and committed to the commonwealth. We are grateful for his life. We will miss his influence very much. He leaves a remarkable legacy.”

Rep. Mia Love

“I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Jon Huntsman Sr. I knew him well as a friend, family man, and a mentor and will miss him dearly. I thank him for the advice, love, and support he provided both to me and to our state. My family and I have been deeply blessed by his friendship and owe him a debt of gratitude.”

“I know Jon will rightfully be remembered as a giant in the state of Utah, across the country, and around the world. His story exemplifies the American dream: He came from humble beginnings, and founded one of the most successful businesses in the nation, now known as the Huntsman Corporation. He was generous and compassionate with his success, investing personally in efforts to eradicate cancer and establishing the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Thousands of lives have been blessed by that investment. I send my heartfelt thoughts and prayers to his family at this difficult time.”

The Miller Family

“Jon was a close friend, advisor and confidant to Larry and me as well as our family. He and Larry spent countless hours discussing items both business and personal. After Larry passed away, Jon continued this support and met with my family and me many times. He was also a faithful supporter of the Jazz and his presence in our lives and at the arena will be greatly missed. Jon added so much to our family and faith.

Jon was thoughtful, kind and generous with his time and resources and has had an immeasurable impact on our family as well as countless people around the world. On behalf of the entire Miller family and my husband Kim Wilson (whose long friendship with Jon precedes our marriage), we express our profound love to Karen and the entire Huntsman family. We are deeply saddened at the loss of such an incredible friend.”

–Gail Miller


David. W. Pershing, President of the University of Utah

“Utah, and indeed the nation, has lost one of its truly great citizens with the passing of Jon M. Huntsman Sr.

Jon was a passionate supporter of the University of Utah, and his vision and generosity will benefit cancer patients, students, faculty, researchers and people throughout Utah and the nation for generations to come.

I am grateful for my friendship with Jon, which spanned more than two decades. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather; a faithful member of his church; and a compassionate member of our community.

Jon never forgot his humble beginnings nor the help he received along the way to becoming a giant in business and philanthropy. He said “good fortunes and blessings must be returned by helping others.” And that is what he did.

Jon and Karen gave enthusiastically to support our basketball programs, our student scholarships and the creation of 26 presidential chairs — including 12 established last fall for our medical school — to support the work of talented faculty members.

But curing cancer, the disease that so cruelly affected Jon’s own family, was his ultimate goal, and Jon saw his entrepreneurial success as a means of facilitating this fight.

Jon established the Huntsman Cancer Institute and lived to see his remarkable dream fulfilled with the opening of its fourth phase last year — the Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center. The institute is home to talented faculty and staff who share his vision to pursue first-rate research, provide excellent cancer education and ensure exceptional care for cancer patients.

Jon’s fight to defeat cancer goes on, but by any measure it can be said Jon achieved his vision. The Huntsman Cancer Institute is a world-class facility, and the University of Utah is fortunate to be a partner with Karen and the entire Huntsman family in this continuing and noble endeavor. We remain committed to Jon’s goal of eradicating cancer and the success of the remarkable institute that bears his name. It is his legacy and one that will benefit generations to come.

On behalf of the entire university community, I offer our condolences to Karen and the Huntsman family.”

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera 

Jon M. Huntsman Sr. was very dear to my heart as he was my biggest supporter and mentor. I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing. He was kind and devoted to helping others. He was a true example of integrity, honor and faith. I have cherished his advice and wisdom throughout the years. I feel blessed that he was able to attend my swearing in as Sheriff, it was apparent that he was not feeling well but he made it a priority to be there. I will always be grateful for his friendship and support. I am so blessed to have known him. My love and prayers go out to Karen, Markie and all the Huntsman family.

Sheriff Rosie Rivera

Mitt Romney

With Jon Huntsman’s passing, we lose a Lion of Utah. Jon raised an extraordinary family, built one of America’s most prominent corporations, and contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to heal the sick, provide relief to the injured, and bring hope to future generations. From providing care and employment to people in earthquake-ravaged Armenia to building libraries of learning here at home, Jon was relentlessly devoted to helping others.

Jon Huntsman’s greatest legacy will be as a healer of men. In founding and personally guiding the Huntsman Cancer Center, he opened the path to cures that have extended life for thousands and may someday defeat cancer for millions.

Jon and I have been friends for decades; our families have been friends for generations. He generously gave to the Salt Lake Olympics and provided me with essential counsel. He was the first to volunteer financial support for my campaign for president of the United States. Ann and I will profoundly miss our good friend’s broad smile, his hearty handshake and his example of faith, honor, and integrity.

First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Utah, and indeed the nation, has lost one of its truly great citizens with the passing of Jon M. Huntsman Sr.

Jon was a passionate supporter of the University of Utah, and his vision and generosity will benefit cancer patients, students, faculty, researchers and people throughout Utah and the nation for generations to come.

I am grateful for my friendship with Jon, which spanned more than two decades. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather; a faithful member of his church; and a compassionate member of our community.

Jon never forgot his humble beginnings nor the help he received along the way to becoming a giant in business and philanthropy. He said “good fortunes and blessings must be returned by helping others.” And that is what he did.

Jon and Karen gave enthusiastically to support our basketball programs, our student scholarships and the creation of 26 presidential chairs — including 12 established last fall for our medical school — to support the work of talented faculty members.

But curing cancer, the disease that so cruelly affected Jon’s own family, was his ultimate goal, and Jon saw his entrepreneurial success as a means of facilitating this fight.

Jon established the Huntsman Cancer Institute and lived to see his remarkable dream fulfilled with the opening of its fourth phase last year — the Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center. The institute is home to talented faculty and staff who share his vision to pursue first-rate research, provide excellent cancer education and ensure exceptional care for cancer patients.

Jon’s fight to defeat cancer goes on, but by any measure it can be said Jon achieved his vision. The Huntsman Cancer Institute is a world-class facility, and the University of Utah is fortunate to be a partner with Karen and the entire Huntsman family in this continuing and noble endeavor. We remain committed to Jon’s goal of eradicating cancer and the success of the remarkable institute that bears his name. It is his legacy and one that will benefit generations to come.

On behalf of the entire university community, I offer our condolences to Karen and the Huntsman family.”

“We share today in the grief of the Huntsman family. We honor Jon as a cherished husband, father and friend, esteemed as a leader for his exceptional capacity, commitment, philanthropy and service throughout the world. We express our love to Karen, to their children and family. Jon’s legacy of faithful leadership, generosity and goodness stands as a beacon for the entire Huntsman family and many others throughout the world.”

University of Utah Hospital

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

“I am brokenhearted to hear of the passing of John Huntsman, Sr. – a friend, an iconic leader, and a man of great faith dedicated to his family and his work. Most know him as a titan of business, philanthropy, and his church. Few realize, however, his incredible service to our country, from his time in the White House as a young man to advising multiple presidents throughout the years. He also possessed numerous other talents and engaged in countless other acts of service that were not public.

“I have always appreciated Mr. Huntsman’s willingness to take time out of his busy schedule to call or meet with me. His personal advice, wit, wisdom and encouragement will be dearly missed. I will never forget one night he took a detour from his scheduled appearance, to take me by the arm, walk slowly around the Grand America and provide his perspective on several issues as a mentor. The legacy that he leaves as a businessman, philanthropist, and committed servant is a testimony to his character of kindness, goodness, and his deep love of community and country.

“My wife, Saysha, and I express our sincere and deepest condolences to the entire Huntsman family and all those grieving. Utah is a much better place because of John Huntsman, Sr., and we are all profoundly grateful.”

Sutherland institute

Sutherland Institute President Rick Larsen released the following statement today responding to the passing of Jon M. Huntsman Sr.: “On behalf of Sutherland Institute, and personally, I would like to offer deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences at the passing of Jon M. Huntsman Sr. “His ‘barefoot to billionaire’ story of success and leadership is unparalleled, but his true wealth is to be found in his legacy of faith, humanitarian service, his crusade against cancer and his outspoken advocacy around important issues of the day. Our hearts are with his family and loved ones.”

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

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