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Donald W. Callender
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Birth: Sep. 27, 1927
Ventura County
California, USA
Death: Jan. 7, 2009
Newport Beach
Orange County
California, USA

Donald W. Callender, founder of the Marie Callender restaurant chain, passed away January 7, 2009 at the age of 81.

He was born in Ventura, California. Don was an icon and a major inspiration in the restaurant industry. He created and developed one of the most successful restaurant chains in America. Over the course of his career, he provided thousands of people job opportunities. His determination and work ethics reached out to touch and inspire thousands of lives around the country. Don's legacy lives on today in the continued success of the Marie Callender restaurant chain. In later years, he shifted his development to full-scale barbecue restaurants, including Babe's in Rancho Mirage and restaurants in Moreno Valley and Redlands. His final project was the design and construction of the newly opened Jackalope Ranch in Indio. Don loved to fly and was an amazing pilot. He also loved to play golf with his son, Lucky. He had a profound love for animals. His dogs brought him so much pleasure. He was a kind and caring man who treasured his family and was loved by them very much.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Katy Callender; son Lucky Callender; daughter Cathe Sprunk; son Glen Callender and his grandchildren, Jasmine Winters, Maxx Buchanan, Caitlyn and Cameron Sprunk. Don will always be loved, remembered and cherished.

Published in The Desert Sun on 1/14/2009


Don Callender, 81, Food Entrepreneur, Is Dead
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSPublished: January 12, 2009

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) Don Callender, an entrepreneur with a passion for pies who built the home-based baking business of his mother, Marie Callender, into a popular brand, died on Wednesday in Newport Beach, Calif. He was 81.

The cause was injuries he suffered in a fall in 2007, said his wife, Katy.

Marie Callender and her husband, Cal, set up a wholesale bakery in Long Beach in 1948. Marie worked long hours producing pies to sell to restaurants.

The pies were popular, and Don Callender came up with the idea of opening a pie and coffee shop in Orange, Calif., in 1964. Named after his mother, Marie Callender's Pie Shops Inc. was so popular that Don Callender opened two more stores in the region, at first selling only pies.

After experimenting with various recipes, he added hamburgers, ham sandwiches, chili and corn bread to the menu.

By the time Don Callender sold the company in 1986 to Ramada for a reported $80 million, the chain had grown to 120 locations nationwide. The restaurants are now a unit of Castle Harlan.

Marie Callender died in 1995.

Don Callender continued to work in the restaurant business until the end, starting Babe's Barbecue and Brewhouse outlets in Southern California and a Jackalope Ranch restaurant in Indio, Calif., that opened the day after he died.

A version of this article appeared in print on January 13, 2009, on page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: Don Callender, 81, Food Entrepreneur. 
Family links: 
  Marie Callender (1907 - 1995)
  Donald W Callender (1927 - 2009)*
  Donald W. Callender (1927 - 2009)
*Calculated relationship
Created by: Cindy R
Record added: Feb 08, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 33646311
Donald W. Callender
Added by: Cindy R
Donald W. Callender
Added by: Cindy R
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