Kristen and I are grateful for the foresight and vision of Jon and Karen Huntsman that enabled the creation of Huntsman Cancer Institute, which provides the gift of hope to so many individuals and their families. We recognize the work of the hundreds of dedicated employees and the leadership at Huntsman Cancer Institute that facilitated the creation of the Kathryn F. Kirk Center for Comprehensive Cancer Care and Women's Cancers. This expansion is possible only because of the significant community of generous donors who joined the Kirk family to make this remarkable facility a reality.
My mother, Kathryn Fairbanks Kirk, was born and raised in Salt Lake City; she graduated from the University of Utah and was enjoying a successful career when she met widower Donald Angus Kirk, MD. Kathryn married Don, taking in his three young children. She embraced her role as wife and mother as they added seven more children to their family.
“May all who enter through these doors find the hope they seek, be touched by the healing hands of God, and lifted in body, mind, and spirit.”
While raising 10 children, Kathryn continued serving and enriching the community with her considerable talents. It is noteworthy what Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. said, and I heard it: “Kathryn could run any Fortune 500 company.” Excelling in every endeavor, Kathryn was a talented musician, author, educator, and church and community leader. Her powerful example, radiant personality, and irrepressible optimism inspired and lifted those around her. Devastatingly, we lost Kathryn to metastatic cancer in 1984. She was 57.
On the first floor of this magnificent building is a tribute to Kathryn that concludes with the following: “May all who enter through these doors find the hope they seek, be touched by the healing hands of God, and lifted in body, mind, and spirit.”