PALM SPRINGS, Calif.—Donald C. Cavanaugh, owner of the Blue Coyote Grill in Palm Springs, Calif., passed away at his home on Feb. 23, 2019. He was 74 years old, and died of complications from Parkinson’s disease. Don was born in November 1944 to Dolores Cockings Cavanaugh and Van Cavanaugh.
Don grew up in Madison, Wis. He attended East High School, played football and was on the wrestling team. Many of his classmates and teammates were life-long friends. He launched his restaurant career in 1971, managing the new Barnaby’s restaurant near the West Towne.
He later managed casual and full-service restaurants in the Chicago area and Denver, and in 1992, he opened his own restaurant in Palm Springs. The Blue Coyote Grill was an instant success and was voted one of the top restaurants, famous for its Wild Coyote Margarita.
Don loved Palm Springs, the year-round weather, playing golf, and the casual life style. He was popular and enjoyed meeting customers, and entertaining friends and family. He often commented living and owning a restaurant in Palm Springs was beyond his wildest dreams
Don is survived by his loving daughters, Kelle Cavanaugh Baker and Shayne Alloway; and five grandchildren. He leaves behind his twin brother, Dave Cavanaugh, Virginia. He will be missed by Kami French, restaurant general manager and long time friend; and a loyal and dedicated staff.
A Celebration of Life is being planned by family in Palm Springs. A private service will be held at the family gravesite at East Cemetery, in Dodgeville.