Hamblin, James Donald
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James Donald Hamblin of Fountain Hills and a longtime Phoenix resident and businessman, died Monday, May 12, after a short illness. He was 76. Jim was born May 16, 1937, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Don and Elizabeth Hamblin. He was the grandson of Cedar Rapids Mayor Frank Kurtz Hahn. He attributed his love of words and good writing to his high-school journalism teacher, Emma Doornick, who taught him to write by putting a piece of paper in the typewriter and then using a running mental outline to compose the whole story on that single page; anything longer was deemed superfluous. Jim went on to graduate from the University of Iowa in 1959 with a degree in journalism. After college, he and his wife Suzanne moved to Minneapolis, where he took a job with Dayton's Department Stores, where he also fell in love with retailing. His long and varied career with Dayton-Hudson took him to Phoenix, then Portland, Ore., and back to Phoenix with Diamond's Department Stores. Later, he served as vice president of merchandising at Smitty's. He started his own retail consulting business before retiring. Suzanne preceded him in death in 2007. Jim loved many things: his family and friends, his faith, music, good food, great wine, as well as that lifelong love of words. Another enthusiasm was jazz, including as a pianist in combos in high school and college, then as a supporter and aficionado. He was associated for many years with Jazz in Arizona and enjoyed making friends at jazz festivals and weekends. He also held a deep affection for the beach, both as a long-time homeowner in Puerto Penasco, Mexico, and Depoe Bay, Oregon. The family would like to thank long-time friend Francisco Hernandez, for enriching our lives and our experiences in Rocky Point for so many years. Dad really loved him; he called Francisco a professional Good Samaritan, which rings exceedingly true for the many people he has helped over the years. We will never be able to repay his many kindnesses. Jim leaves behind legions of loving friends and family who will deeply miss his appreciation for wine and good music, goofy sense of humor, thoughtfully probing questions and unfailing decency. He is survived by wife Judy Hamblin of Fountain Hills; brother Steve Hamblin of Easton, Maryland; son Chris (wife Stacy), grandson Nathan and granddaughter Laurel all of Chandler, Arizona; daughter Kim Hamblin (partner Evan Sallustro) of Phoenix; stepdaughter Stacy Gendreau (husband Brent), and stepson Steve Sanders all of Colorado. A celebration of life will be held in Dad's honor at The Fountains Methodist Church 15300 N. Fountain Hills Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268 (480) 837-7627 at 4:00 p.m. Friday, May 16, 2014. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Amor Ministries 1664 Precision Park Lane, San Diego, California 92173 (619)-662-1200 or UMOM (United Methodist Outreach Ministries) 3333 E. Van Buren Street Phoenix, Arizona 85034
Published in The Arizona Republic on May 15, 2014