Obituary of John Cahillane
"It's not the time in your life, it's the life in your time." Bruce Springsteen
John Cahillane, noted raconteur and former owner of Denville’s Rattlesnake Ranch Cafe amongst other hospitality endeavors, died suddenly in New York City October 16 at the age of 55.
Born in 1963 in Manhattan, John’s family moved to Monroe, New York when he was 4 and where he would spend his formative years playing ball and walking the halls in an idyllic bedroom community. He graduated from Washingtonville High School (Wizards!) and subsequently attended the University of Missouri before choosing a career in the culinary and mixological arts.
He began his career in the restaurant business at Bennigans in Parsippany and rose through the ranks to become general manager of several casual dining restaurants before purchasing the Rattlesnake in 1997. The Rattlesnake became an iconic gathering spot and its stories and friendships continue to outlive the building from which they came. At the time of his death, he worked as a manager at the Barleycorn in downtown Manhattanand was in the planning stages of opening a new restaurant in the Hamilton Heights section of New York.
John is survived by his beloved son and best companion John; his mother Anne; his partner Deborah Scott; his brother Steve and wife Tracy; his sister Karen and husband Patrick; and his brother Kevin and wife Julie; nine nieces and nephews who were beneficiaries of his prodigious gift giving; and his former spouse and friend Barbara Kane. He was predeceased by his father and namesake, John; and his second wife Nancy Graver.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 24th at 10 am at St. Mary’s Church, 15 Myers Avenue, Denville. Friends, fans and relatives may visit and celebrate John on Tuesday, October 23rd from 3-7 pm at the Norman Dean Home For Services, 16 Righter Avenue. A vigil service is planned for 6:30 that evening. John was a tireless supporter and fundraiser for causes he believed in. In that spirit and in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to The Joey Bella Memorial Fund.
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