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Dr Donald King Buffmire
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Birth: unknown
Death: Jul. 2, 2008
Maricopa County
Arizona, USA

Donald King Buffmire, M.D., died peacefully on July 2, 2008. Dr. Buffmire was a loving husband and father whose distinguished career as a prominent, longtime Valley internal medicine and cardiology specialist benefited both the medical and philanthropic communities. He was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, to Edwin Frank and Mabel King Buffmire. A 1940 graduate of Grand Rapids High School, he earned All-State honors in football and track. He completed undergraduate and medical degrees from Northwestern University while earning honorable mention All-American football honors as a halfback, playing in the same backfield with legendary quarterback Otto Graham. Fortunately for Arizona, he declined an opportunity to play for the NFL's Chicago Cardinals to enter the medical profession. At Northwestern, he also captained the track team and, most importantly, met Jane Enkema. The couple recently celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. In 1954, Dr. Buffmire moved his family to Phoenix with an impressive resume in hand: M.D. from Northwestern, residency at the Mayo Clinic, Captain in the Army Medical Corps. He began a practice, Phoenix Medical Associates, with Northwestern colleague and Mayo fellow Ashton B. Taylor, and served there until his retirement in 1992. The group is now part of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. During the early days of his career, Dr. Buffmire befriended Dr. Robert S. Flinn, a leading cardiologist and philanthropist. Dr. Flinn, the "house doctor" at the Biltmore Estates, soon began having Dr. Buffmire cover the hotel and his many patients while he was out of town. When Dr. Flinn and his wife, Irene, established the Flinn Foundation in 1965, they appointed Dr. Buffmire as a charter trustee. Dr. Buffmire carried the Flinns' vision beyond their lifetimes, assuming the Foundation chairmanship duties following the death of Dr. Flinn in 1984. He served in this role until 1998 and continued as an emeritus board member. During his 14-year tenure as Chair, Dr. Buffmire presided over the growth of the Foundation's assets from a modest philanthropy to the largest in the state at the time. Under his leadership, the Foundation focused attention on the state's health care needs; supported excellence in biomedical research; brought university and student achievements to new heights through the Flinn Scholars Program; and empowered arts institutions to heighten creativity and stabilize financially. He was the Foundation's longest-serving charter trustee. In recognition of his many leadership contributions to the Foundation, the board in 1997 established and funded the Donald K. Buffmire Visiting Lectureship in Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. The program, expanded earlier this year, reminds future generations of young physicians of Dr. Buffmire's legacy. He also served for 40 years as a trustee of Blood Systems, Inc., including the role of President. Blood Systems is the nation's largest nonprofit blood service organization exclusive of the Red Cross. He served as President of the Arizona Heart Association, Chief of Staff of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, and a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership. He was a fellow of the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, and Royal Society of Medicine, and served the American Heart Association and American Medical Association. Dr. Buffmire has been honored with numerous medical awards, including the most prestigious Laureate Award of the American College of Physicians; the Doctor Clarence Salsbury Award of Maricopa County Medical Society for Distinguished Public Service; the Doctor Joseph E. Ehrlich Medal by the Maricopa County Medical Society; the Directors Award by St. Joseph's Hospital for Commitment to the Education of Young Physicians; and the Mercy Physician Honoree by St. Joseph's Hospital. He also earned Northwestern's Service to Society award; the Significant Sig award from his college fraternity, Sigma Chi; and was inducted into the Grand Rapid Sports Hall of Fame. Dr. Buffmire is survived his by devoted wife Jane; daughters Barbara Kaiser (Malcolm D. Kaiser) and Katherine Yatsko (Michael E. Yatsko); son Bruce E. Buffmire (Frederica); sister Mary Jean Champlin; 13 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Services are scheduled for Saturday, July 19, 10 a.m., at Orangewood Presbyterian Church, 7321 N. 10th Street, Phoenix. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in honor of Donald K. Buffmire to one of two organizations: Blood Systems Research Institute, attn: Susan Barnes, 6210 E. Oak St., Scottsdale, AZ 85257; or Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014. 
Family links: 
  Jane Enkema Buffmire (1923 - 2012)*
*Calculated relationship
Created by: EFG
Record added: Mar 09, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34616658


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