Doug Yagaloff, 54, of Palm Springs and former Idyllwild resident, died Wednesday morning, Nov. 13, from kidney cancer.
During his time in Idyllwild, Doug was very active in the business community. One of his goals was to expand efforts to attract visitors to the Hill. He was instrumental in creating the Idyllwild Business Roundtable in June 2009. This group leased two billboards, one off Interstate 10 and another on Interstate 215 to promote Idyllwild as a travel destination. He envisioned tour bus operators in the desert bringing visitors to Idyllwild for a day. He pursued an Idyllwild Business Improvement District.
Doug was an active businessman, but he stressed cooperation. The roundtable was incredibly productive during his participation. “He set grand values and he conducted meetings with emphasis on positive contributions, no backbiting. He had the community’s interest first,” said his friend, Marshall Smith. “The spiritual path was always important to him and guided how he conducted the meetings.”
He was active in many community functions, such as the Farmers’ Market and a Shop to Give day in 2006, a fundraiser for the families of the Esperanza Fire victims.
Doug, with Dave Stith and Kate Kramer, was one of the founders of the annual Lemon Lily Festival. The fifth LLF will be in July 2014.
Bryan Tallent, co-owner of the Spruce Moose, who worked with Doug on the roundtable and helped with the LLF, said, “Doug was very soft spoken, but dynamic. He gave people hope when the economy was bad in 2010. He organized the Lemon Lily Festival.
“He amazed me with how he got it all done; amazed me with how he juggled all kinds of things, but he inspired me to do more,” Tallent said.
Scott Douglas, his partner, and Doug owned Mountain Harvest Market until it sold earlier this year. In 2005, they opened Idyllwild Green, a cooperative, which was located in the Fort. In December 2006, they moved to its location in Strawberry Plaza.
“Through Mountain Harvest Market, Doug raised our community’s awareness of the importance of organic foods and supporting local organic farms like Sage Mountain Farm. He helped create a special place that brought and continues to bring many in our town together,” said Holly Owens, who worked at Harvest Market for several years.
After moving to the desert, Doug worked with the Center for Spiritual Living. There his first teacher was Maxine Kay. “What an amazing soul. He could bring people together to work together. He brought harmony to chaos,” Kay said.
When he passed, Doug was a licensed minister with the Center for Spiritual Living in Palm Springs under the guidance of Dr. Michael Kearney. “We lost a very sweet soul,” Tallent lamented.
On Jan. 11, 2014, a celebration of Doug’s life will be held at the Center for Spiritual Living in Palm Springs.
J.P. Crumrine can be reached at [email protected]