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Dennis E. (Denny) Mitchem

1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Dennis E. (Denny) Mitchem Obituary
Dennis E. (Denny) Mitchem

Phoenix - Denny went to his reward on August 29, 2018. He is survived by his wife Betty, his four children Dennis Mitchem Jr, Hope Mitchem, Scott Mitchem, and Amy Fullerton and his brother John Mitchem and his seven grandchildren, Emery, Lilly, Jeanne, Scott (Scooter), Conner, Brook and Bonnie and his great-granddaughter Skye. He was preceded in death by his grandson Chad, his parents and his sister Theresa.

Denny was born in Nebraska in 1931. He grew up living over a train depot in rural Nebraska. He served in the airforce where he achieved the rank of lieutenant. After his military service, he completed his college degree at the University of Nebraska and was married.

He went to work for Arthur Andersen and Company as an Accountant, Auditor, and Consultant in 1952 and served there for forty years. In 1958, he transferred to Phoenix where he helped open Andersen's Phoenix Office and later was admitted as a partner. Denny was very active in the profession and served it in many capacities. He is a past chairman of the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants.

From 1992 through 1994, Denny lived in Colorado where he was the manager of the Resolutions Trust Corporation financial processing center in Denver. Then in 1994, he moved to Moscow as the Manager of the Local Privatization Center project for United States Agency for International Development. When he returned to Phoenix from Russia, he served for over two years as the executive director of Valley of the Sun Habitat for Humanity. Habitat builds affordable housing for low-income families.

In late 1998, Denny joined Northern Arizona University as Director of Corporate Relations. Located in Phoenix, Denny spearheaded NAU's corporate development activities reaching out to Arizona business leaders to assist the college in formulating objectives and securing resources necessary to achieve them. He retired in 2010 but continued to serve as a volunteer.

He also served as the chairman of the audit committee and board member of a successful publicly held corporation which was sold to foreign investors in 2007 for $3.5 billion.

Denny also served the United States Agency for International Development as a consultant relative to the emerging accounting professions in southeast Europe.

During his years in the Valley, Denny was very active in the community. He helped found Valley Leadership, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Herberger Theater, ASU College of Business Council of 100, Economic Club of Phoenix, Citizens Transportation Council, Downtown Crime Task Force, Phoenix Community Alliance, Downtown Phoenix Partnership, and YES on 400. His past Chairmanships include Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Visitors and Convention Bureau, Citizens Bond Committee, Residents for Safe and Efficient Transportation, Valley of the Sun United Way Campaign and Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation. He served Goodwill Industries of Arizona for over forty years and in 2015 they named the Dennis E. Mitchem (Denny) Strategy Room in their corporate headquarters after him to recognize his service. He was active in many other philanthropic activities too numerous to recall, he touched a lot of lives.

Dennis Mitchem changed countless lives as a mentor, confidante, benefactor, and more. His services will be at the First United Methodist Church at 5510 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012 on Friday September 28th at 10am. Please do not send flowers. If you want to do something, he has an endowed scholarship at the Northern Arizona University Foundation. Memorial gifts may be directed to the NAU Foundation online or via mail. Mail checks to NAU Foundation, PO Box 4094, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, and write "Fund 1599 in memory of Dennis Mitchem" in the memo line. Or, make a secure online gift at Select fund 1599, "Mitchem Family Scholarship," and in the comment box, type "In memory of Dennis Mitchem." Or you could make a contribution at the First United Methodist Church.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Sept. 2 to Sept. 17, 2018
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