Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vernon Dean 1954-2015; Caterer Was 'Personality' of Brewery Jolly Mon Owner Did More Than Cook at Bold City

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vernon Dean 1954-2015; Caterer Was 'Personality' of Brewery Jolly Mon Owner Did More Than Cook at Bold City

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland

Vernon Dean liked to trade good-natured insults and jokes with his customers as he dished up pulled-pork sandwiches, chicken wings and black bean burgers from a corner of Bold City Brewery. On top of the counter was a statue of his red lei-bedecked parrot, Sanchez.

"He was the personality of the place," said Susan Miller, co-owner of the Riverside brewery and tap room where Mr. Dean worked part time for six years.

Friends described his personality as quirky, often hilarious and sometimes outrageous. He was kind, generous, loved being on the water and as owner of Jolly Mon Catering was a complete professional.

Mr. Dean died Sunday of metastatic melanoma. He was 60. A memorial will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, at Bold City, 2670 Rosselle St.

"He was such a staple here," said Miller, who owns the brewery with son Brian. "He did more than just our food. He was an integral part of who we are."

If he had a break, he would help run the taproom, serve customers, clean, assist with security and stay late to help close up, she said.

"Vernon was the kind of character that could insult you and leave you smiling," Miller said.

Miller said she met Mr. Dean while standing in line at Sam's Club in 2008. He noticed that she was wearing a Bold City Brewery shirt. They started talking, he told her he was a caterer and soon afterward, he was working there Thursday-Saturday.

Miller discovered he was an excellent cook. One time she insisted he cook a veggie burger made out of black beans, and it became so popular that it was added to the menu.

A Jacksonville native, Mr. Dean was born in 1954. While at Englewood High School, he worked part time at Bonanza Steakhouse, said Wayne Ballasso, a friend for 50 years.

Mr. Dean later became a real estate broker and property manager with his own business, Advantage Property Management Co. …

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