Limon was born on 29 October 1932 in Hartlepool to Arthur Limon, the borough treasurer of West Hartlepool, and Dora Limon. He was educated at the Chorister School, Durham, an independent preparatory school adjacent to Durham Cathedral, and then from 1946 to 1950 at Durham School, then an all-boys independent school in Durham. A keen cricketer, he played for the school first elevens and was captain of his house team. He was Head of House, the Caffinites, in his final year.
On leaving school, Limon undertook National Service at the Royal Army Service Corps brigade headquarters in the Republic of Korea. On discharge, and following a term of school teaching, in 1953 he accepted a local authority award to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Lincoln College, Oxford, taking a second-class degree in 1956.
Limon was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 1993 New Year Honours. He was promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 1997 Queen's Birthday Honours.
- "Sir Donald Limon". The Times. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- Dalyell, Tam (11 August 2012). "Sir Donald Limon: Clerk of the House of Commons hailed for his toughness and eye for detail". The Independent. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "Sir Donald Limon". The Daily Telegraph. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- "Sir Donald Limon". OD Obituaries. Durham School. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
- The London Gazette: . 6 November 1990. Retrieved 09 March 2014.
- The London Gazette: . 4 November 1994. Retrieved 09 March 2014.
- The London Gazette: . 30 December 1992. Retrieved 09 March 2014.
- The London Gazette: . 13 June 1997. Retrieved 09 March 2014.