(photo courtesy Huntsman family) Jon and Karen Huntsman with their adult children in 2009.
But besides any personality traits — from ambition to wittiness, compassion to curiosity, principled to practical — Huntsman’s eight surviving children (daughter Kathleen died in 2010 at age 44) also bear very visible parts of his legacy.
Several years ago, the family patriarch said he expects his descendants to follow his lead and give back to the community through business, civic and charitable engagement.
(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jon M. Huntsman Jr., U.S. ambassador to Russia, speaks during an Ambassadorial Swearing-In Ceremony at the Utah Capitol on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017.
He served as an ambassador in the administrations of George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, with expertise in the Pacific Rim and China before becoming President Donald Trump’s top diplomat in Russia last year.
“Jon loved to explore and take part in spirited conversations. He found everything interesting, from motorcycles to the White House,” Jon Sr. wrote in his 2015 autobiography, “Barefoot to Billionaire.” “He is articulate and thoughtful, equally at ease talking with Alice Cooper and the Dalai Lama.”
Huntsman Corp. President and CEO Peter Huntsman rings the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 17, 2011.
When he was still a teenager, he ran Huntsman’s Top Stop convenience-store chain, which consisted of 17 outlets. He rose to CEO before he turned 20.
Christena Huntsman Durham
Christena also helps oversee the Huntsman World Senior Games, a popular sports program founded by her father in which senior citizen athletes from across the globe compete in an Olympics-style format each year in St. George.
(Scott Sommerdorf | Tribune file photo) David Huntsman speaks about the family history of a commitment to fight cancer is, and how that is the basis for what his father announced to day. Jon M. Huntsman Sr. announced a new donation and initiative to expand the Huntsman Cancer Institute, at the Grand America Hotel, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.
David Huntsman • He appears to be the child who will carry on the tradition of service in high circles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, although several siblings have been local lay leaders.
Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Paul Huntsman, owner and publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune, on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.
Paul Huntsman • He is in charge of Huntsman Family Investments, seeking to funnel profits to cancer research and other philanthropic endeavors, and is the owner and publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune.
“It is ironic that he, like me, makes deals based on emotions and tries to avoid conflicts and calculations,” his father wrote. “He reads me better than anyone and is surprised how poorly some people understand me.”
James spent a few years as a moviemaker, joined the Screen Actors Guild and produced two films, prodding his father into playing a cameo role in each one.
James now works on the distribution side of the movie business, following his father, in a sense, whose first venture was selling music albums in grocery stores.
Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune Emcee Jennifer Huntsman Parkin (right) draws a giggle from educator Julie Hooker, (left) one of 11 winners of the 2016 Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education, honored Friday evening at the Little America Hotel by philanthropists Jon and Karen Huntsman.
Jennifer Huntsman Parkin • She was the child most involved in helping her mother, Karen, on the domestic side of the Huntsman household and in taking care of Mark, the Huntsmans’ special-needs child.
But Jennifer, too, is keeping the torch burning for a segment of the family’s community outreach, overseeing the Huntsman Education Awards, which hand out financial rewards to outstanding teachers and principals every year.
Despite his limitations, Markie plays a role in the Huntsman empire. He strides through the halls of the corporate headquarters greeting everyone he meets. His official title: corporate messenger.