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Memphis Funeral Home

5599 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN

OBITUARY

Nick Charles Vergos

April 22, 1952September 5, 2019
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Nick Charles Vergos, 67 years old, died Thursday, September 5, 2019, at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis, TN, following sudden complications from an infection exacerbated by his recent and courageous battle with cancer. He left this earth the way he lived it – with passion, enthusiasm, warmth, humility, humor and above all, love and a deep desire to bring joy to all he met.

Born April 22, 1952, in Memphis, Mr. Vergos was the middle child of Anastasia and Charlie Vergos, who founded the world-famous Rendezvous BBQ restaurant 71 years ago. It remains one of the oldest and most successful restaurants in Memphis.

He leaves his beloved wife Jenny (Conlee Mallery) of 15 years and a fairytale romance that inspired all who knew them. As the second marriage for each of them, they blended their family of five children and nurtured a life full of travel, great food and cooking, entertaining and a dedicated commitment to hands-on charitable endeavors.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Vergos is survived by his children: son Nicholas Vergos of Richmond, VA, daughters Reed Vergos and Cecile Vergos of Memphis; stepsons Britt Mallery (Epiphany Jones) and Cole Mallery of Memphis; brother John Vergos and sister Tina Jennings of Memphis; and his mother Anastasia Vergos, also of Memphis; as well as a loving, extended and blended family of cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. He is preceded in death by his father Charlie Vergos.

Mr. Vergos was raised in the family business; growing to become the face of The Rendezvous, becoming instrumental in helping it achieve its iconic status. He helped invent the “dry rub” style of ribs which are coated and smoked with a proprietary seasoning rather than with a traditional wet sauce. This unique approach to preparing and seasoning pork ribs helped build the restaurant’s world-famous reputation and fostered a long-standing culinary debate on the merits and preferences of wet versus dry ribs. He was honored twice with the invitation to cook at the James Beard House in New York.

In addition to its place as a local and tourist “must experience,” The Rendezvous has hosted U.S. presidents, actors, celebrities and musicians, including The Rolling Stones and Justin Timberlake.

Mr. Vergos was passionate about giving back to the community, not just financially, but with his time and hard work cooking, serving, cleaning and managing charitable events. Even while battling cancer, he continued to volunteer at Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy as he had done since 2015 when it was founded.

He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation Mid-South for the past 20 years, raising more than $3.2 million for the charity with the Make-A-Wish Golf Classic he co-chaired for the past 16 years. In 2008, the organization created the Nick Vergos Superhero Award as an ongoing way to honor select volunteers who demonstrate an extra special capacity to make a difference with their volunteer work for the organization.

Mr. Vergos was an original founder of Zoo Rendezvous, an annual fundraiser for The Memphis Zoo and served as past president of Zoo, Inc.

In addition to hands-on volunteering for the kitchen ministry at Hope Church, he was a committed board member of the Memphis Riverfront Development Corporation and the National Ornamental Metal Museum, among others.

With his infectious enthusiasm, Mr. Vergos was a positive ambassador for the city as he traveled the world sharing his love of all things Memphis, especially Memphis-style BBQ.

Anyone who met Nick — whether statesman, celebrity, old friend, new acquaintance or someone needing a helping hand — couldn’t help but be touched by his captivating smile, genuine warmth, engaging personality and giving heart. To his friends, he was loyal and accepting without fail. Nick was known for and defined by his unparalleled adoration for his family.

He will be forever missed by those whom he loved and those whose lives were enriched by his love. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Nick Vergos Scholarship Fund at the Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy or to Make-a-Wish Foundation Mid-South.

Gathering for family and friends is Sunday, September 8, 6:30-9:00 p.m. and the memorial service is Monday, September 9, at 11:00 a.m. Both are at Hope Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road. Enter Entrance 3.

  • FAMILY

  • Jenny (Conlee Mallery) Vergos, Wife
  • Nicholas Vergos, Son
  • Reed Vergos, Daughter
  • Cecile Vergos, Daughter
  • Britt Mallery (Epiphany Jones), Step son
  • Cole Mallery, Step son
  • John Vergos, Brother
  • Tina Jennings, Sister
  • Anastasia Vergos, Mother
  • He also leaves a loving, extended and blended family of cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

    He is preceded in death by his father Charlie Vergos.
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Jack Sammons
  • Charlie Hill
  • David Thomas
  • Ron Wong
  • Carlton Sedberry
  • Mike Piertrangelo
  • DONATIONS

  • the Nick Vergos Scholarship Fund at the Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy or to Make-a-Wish Foundation Mid-South

Services

  • Gathering for Family and Friends Sunday, September 8, 2019
  • Memorial Service Monday, September 9, 2019

Memories

Nick Charles Vergos

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John OBryan

September 6, 2019

Nick was a kind and generous man. Well done thy loyal and faithful servant. Go with God

Jeffrey Phillips

September 6, 2019

Truly one of a kind...just like Mr. Charlie!

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Biography

Nick Charles Vergos, 67 years old, died Thursday, September 5, 2019, at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis, TN, following sudden complications from an infection exacerbated by his recent and courageous battle with cancer. He left this earth the way he lived it – with passion, enthusiasm, warmth, humility, humor and above all, love and a deep desire to bring joy to all he met.

Born April 22, 1952, in Memphis, Mr. Vergos was the middle child of Anastasia and Charlie Vergos, who founded the world-famous Rendezvous BBQ restaurant 71 years ago. It remains one of the oldest and most successful restaurants in Memphis.

He leaves his beloved wife Jenny (Conlee Mallery) of 15 years and a fairytale romance that inspired all who knew them. As the second marriage for each of them, they blended their family of five children and nurtured a life full of travel, great food and cooking, entertaining and a dedicated commitment to hands-on charitable endeavors.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Vergos is survived by his children: son Nicholas Vergos of Richmond, VA, daughters Reed Vergos and Cecile Vergos of Memphis; stepsons Britt Mallery (Epiphany Jones) and Cole Mallery of Memphis; brother John Vergos and sister Tina Jennings of Memphis; and his mother Anastasia Vergos, also of Memphis; as well as a loving, extended and blended family of cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. He is preceded in death by his father Charlie Vergos.

Mr. Vergos was raised in the family business; growing to become the face of The Rendezvous, becoming instrumental in helping it achieve its iconic status. He helped invent the “dry rub” style of ribs which are coated and smoked with a proprietary seasoning rather than with a traditional wet sauce. This unique approach to preparing and seasoning pork ribs helped build the restaurant’s world-famous reputation and fostered a long-standing culinary debate on the merits and preferences of wet versus dry ribs. He was honored twice with the invitation to cook at the James Beard House in New York.

In addition to its place as a local and tourist “must experience,” The Rendezvous has hosted U.S. presidents, actors, celebrities and musicians, including The Rolling Stones and Justin Timberlake.

Mr. Vergos was passionate about giving back to the community, not just financially, but with his time and hard work cooking, serving, cleaning and managing charitable events. Even while battling cancer, he continued to volunteer at Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy as he had done since 2015 when it was founded.

He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation Mid-South for the past 20 years, raising more than $3.2 million for the charity with the Make-A-Wish Golf Classic he co-chaired for the past 16 years. In 2008, the organization created the Nick Vergos Superhero Award as an ongoing way to honor select volunteers who demonstrate an extra special capacity to make a difference with their volunteer work for the organization.

Mr. Vergos was an original founder of Zoo Rendezvous, an annual fundraiser for The Memphis Zoo and served as past president of Zoo, Inc.

In addition to hands-on volunteering for the kitchen ministry at Hope Church, he was a committed board member of the Memphis Riverfront Development Corporation and the National Ornamental Metal Museum, among others.

With his infectious enthusiasm, Mr. Vergos was a positive ambassador for the city as he traveled the world sharing his love of all things Memphis, especially Memphis-style BBQ.

Anyone who met Nick — whether statesman, celebrity, old friend, new acquaintance or someone needing a helping hand — couldn’t help but be touched by his captivating smile, genuine warmth, engaging personality and giving heart. To his friends, he was loyal and accepting without fail. Nick was known for and defined by his unparalleled adoration for his family.

He will be forever missed by those whom he loved and those whose lives were enriched by his love.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Nick Vergos Scholarship Fund at the Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy or to Make-a-Wish Foundation Mid-South.

Gathering for family and friends is Sunday, September 8, 6:30-9:00 p.m. and the memorial service is Monday, September 9, at 11:00 a.m. Both are at Hope Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road. Enter Entrance 3.