Disneyland Candymaker Dies After 43 Years Of Making Sweet Memories – Many With California Life

Disneyland legendary candy maker Rob McHargue, who passed away Dec. 2, 2017. Photo by Paul Hiffmeyer, courtesy of the Disneyland Resort.

If you ever stopped and peeked into the window of the Candy Palace sweet shop on Disneyland’s Main Street, you’ve likely seen candy maker Rob McHargue, who spent 43 years there devoted to the craft of sugary treats.

Wearing the signature candymaker‘s white uniform with striped bandana, he became something of a legend at the park, not only because of his dedication to his craft, but also because of his kindly nature and attention to visitors, especially the kids whose eyes lit up when they saw his candy.

McHargue died suddenly of natural causes on Dec. 2, according to his brother Mike, shortly after taking a short vacation from his job making seasonal candy canes for Disneyland’s most dedicated fans, who wait in lines sometimes for hours to get one.

“When you’d walk up to the window, you’d see him there,” said Tiffany Marie, 27, of Torrance, who’s now a pastry chef, adding that she went into culinary arts in part because of him. An annual passholder since childhood, she worked with McHargue for three years at Disneyland.

“He was the kindest man – he dedicated his life to helping people,” Marie said. “And I never met a man who cared so much about the product he put out. He cared about making magical moments for guests, especially children.”

In January 2017, McHargue began wearing a special blue name tag, signifying that he’d received the Walt Disney Legacy Award, the highest honor cast members, crew members and Imagineers can achieve at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

“I always knew Rob was special because of how he treated others,” candy production manager, Kelley Oxley-Halbreich said in a statement. “Our candy production cast looked to Rob for history and heritage as well as technical candy-making skills.  His endearing laugh and infectious smile will be missed by guests and cast alike.”

Mike McHargue said his brother’s death was “totally unexpected,” and that he’d planned to return to work the following Tuesday.

A resident of Garden Grove and, later, Stanton, McHargue is scheduled to be interred Saturday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cypress.

He is survived by his mother, Shirley McHargue, brother Mike and sister Jeannette Boyd.

“He was one of those guys who would stop and wave to the kids, and talk to the guests,” Mike McHargue said. He also volunteered as board secretary for the Garden Grove Nazarene Church and spent a week every year helping out at the Anaheim District Nazarene Kids Camp, as well as teaching vacation Bible school.

“He had a servant’s heart,” his brother said. McHargue was 63, according to Legacy.com.

Watch the segment below as California Life’s Audra Stafford learned how to make Disneyland’s Halloween treats with McHargue this past October.

Article via: Orange County Register

By  | mfisher@scng.com | Orange County Register