Karyn Piña, 58, passed away on Thursday, October 8, 2020. A third-generation Phoenician, Karyn was born on May 23, 1962 at Good Samaritan Hospital. She was preceded in death by her father, Robert, and is survived by her husband of 30 years, Ronnie, their sons Diego and Adrian, her mother Virginia (John) and brother Scott (Cara).
Karyn was a devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister and aunt. She was a consummate professional recognized for her elegant style, substance, and tenacity. She built a successful career that reflected her commitment to excellence, strong work ethic and fierce loyalty. She mastered the craft of fund development and capacity building, becoming one of the most nationally respected and admired fundraising professionals in the Latino non-profit sector.
Karyn’s early career included stints at the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund and the Tomás Rivera Center. She joined her close personal and professional ally, Arturo Vargas, at the NALEO Educational Fund and perfected her skills over the subsequent 25 years rising to the position of Chief Strategy Officer. Her leadership of the organization’s fund development and special events functions earned NALEO a reputation for exquisite taste, attention to detail and efficiency. She mentored and nurtured scores of young Latinas and Latinos and was a role model for many more across the country.
Karyn was a proud ASU Sun Devil where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and was a highly engaged student leader. Karyn departed from NALEO on two occasions to work for her beloved alma mater, most recently serving as an ASU Associate Vice President for Community Outreach and Engagement where she built a number of strategic initiatives and community partnerships advancing educational opportunities for all Arizona students.
Karyn had a passion for music, travel, art and European history. She loved watching football and was most comfortable sitting at home with a glass of wine and spending time with Ronnie.
It is impossible to measure the incredible impact that Karyn had on the lives of her family, friends and colleagues. Her beautiful smile and keen sense of humor could capture your attention and permeate your heart. She was impeccable in her manners and appearance; and carried herself with confidence and grace. Karyn personified the highest standard of integrity and professionalism.
A private memorial service will be scheduled in October. The family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of prayers and condolences. In lieu of flowers, a contribution can be made to the NALEO Educational Fund at www.naleo.org. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.
Dear Ronnie, Adrian, Diego and Virginia,
I had the pleasure of working with your mother for a few years while she was at ASU and was grateful to see her every now and then after she moved on from ASU. She was so special, smart and graceful. She was so proud of her sons and spoke of you both often. Ronnie, she and I also often talked about the loving connection you and she shared throughout so many years of being together…
To all of you, I offer my deepest and most sincere condolences on the loss of her very special life that made our world exponentially better. Please know she was cherished and that she will be immeasurably missed by so many, including me. May God bless you all and aid your healing during this very sad and difficult time. Beatriz.
Ron, I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to you and your family.
I am very sorry for your loss. On behalf of your former Evonik I&P Team, please accept our condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Raymond and Katherine Pieternella
Our sincerest condolences. The Pieternella’s will keep you and your family in our prayers.
To Ron, Adrian, Diego, Virginia, and Scott –
I am terribly sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful description of a beautiful wife, mother, daughter, and sister. While it is hard, remember to rejoice in the happiness and love you shared with her. I am praying for your families during this difficult time.
Dear Ron, Adrian, and Diego,
I want to share my deepest condolences with you all. I was truly saddened to hear the news of her passing. She taught me so much during her time here at ASU and her passion to help the community radiated in her work. Her legacy here at the university lives on, and we will continue to keep her memory alive through our work.
May God Bless You and provide you comfort during this time.
Lorenzo and Ayleen Chavez
Ron, Diego, Adrian, Virginia and Scott,
I’m very sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences, sympathy and thoughts are with your family.
Ginger, I am so saddened to hear about the loss of your daughter. It appears she was one remarkable lady and so you have many wonderful memories. I am afraid the loss of a child is the worst tragedy for us. Unbearable. I am thinking of you now & pray for your healing.