Donald Robbins Liem passed away July 29th, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. He was a great humanitarian and he made the world a better place. Don was born on February 12, 1933 in Morenci, Arizona to Henry A. and Gladys Johnson Liem and was the third of five children. In 1945, the family moved to Phoenix. Don attended Madison Elementary and North Phoenix High School where he met and later married Barbara K. Nasser. A graduate of Arizona State College, he was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, Don was Vice President of the Student Body and was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. From 1956-1959 he served as Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, graduated fourth in his class from Navigation School and was honorably discharged as Captain. After military service, Don and Barbara and their two children, Scott and Tracy, moved to Tempe. He had planned to become a CPA, however his career took a different direction when he accepted a part-time job as a salesman with Knoell Homes and ultimately became vice president and partner. Don was regarded as one of the most respected sales and marketing directors in the home building industry. He co-founded the Sales & Marketing Council of the Central Arizona Homebuilders Association and the MAME awards. He was named Sales & Marketing Director of the Year in 1981, 1982, and l983. Don was a devoted civic leader, serving as Chairman of the Tempe United Fund, President of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce and a member of Tempe Rotary. His love of Tempe led him to found the Tempe Diablos, which supports educational programs benefiting youth in the community. He was instrumental in the Diablos becoming the official hosts of the Fiesta Bowl and national ambassadors for Tempe. But his greatest passion besides his family. He was supporting the Friends of the Orphans in Mexico. He fell in love with the children on his first visit to NPH (Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos) and went on to raise millions to benefit the organization which now has homes in 11 third world countries. He served as President of the Board from 1992-2002. He and Barbara also opened their home to students ready for college and are considered godparents of many former “pequenos.” For his many contributions to benefit others, Don was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Tempe Jaycees, the Spirit of Tempe by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce and the Making a World of Difference award by Tempe Sister Cities. Don has left a legacy of giving and service. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Barbara, their children Scott (Christy) and Tracy Murphy (Phil), five grandchildren: Lindsey Wahlberg (Troy), Laura Wilson (Aaron), Harrison Murphy, Joanna Stewart (Skyler) and Jessica Hedges (Brian); nine great grandchildren; and siblings, Kathryn Runbeck (Charles); Marjorie Dunbar (David) and Henry Liem (Tina). The family extends their profound appreciation to Patricia Rushing and her staff, Ophelia, Jocelyn and Johnston, for their undying love, care and devotion to Don during their time together; Dr. Monica Banerje; and the nurses of Shanti Hospice. A visitation will be held on Monday, from 5-7 p.m. at King of Glory Lutheran Church, 2085 E. Southern Ave. in Tempe; the funeral will also be held at King of Glory on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Don’s grandchildren have established a foundation in his honor at spreadDLove.com. “What God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” (James 1:27) Condolensces can be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfh.com
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