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'A ball of life' | Houston restaurant owner, community educator 'Sunshine' dies at 87

Improving his own health was one thing, but Vergis Bourgeois Jr.'s real mission was to spread the knowledge he gained to his own community.

HOUSTON — “Just a ball of life.”

That’s how Sunshine’s Vegan owner and CEO Arga Bourgeois Davis describes her father, 87-year-old Vergis Bourgeois Jr.

Everyone knew Vergis as “Sunshine.”

“He just wanted everyone to realize that every day is a new day to start your new body," Davis said.

And a new body is exactly what started Bourgeois’ lifelong journey in health. After watching his mother suffer in pain through diabetes, Sunshine poured himself into learning.

“He bought every book. He bought every supplement and he tried it," Davis said.

Improving his own health was one thing, but his real mission was to spread the knowledge he gained to his own community. He traveled all over Houston to educate and help people build healthier lives.

“He just wanted people to feel as good as he did," Davis said.

And his Sunshine’s restaurants, the first of which has been open for decades, have been a game-changer for the community – giving residents who might otherwise not have access to vegetarian or vegan eating options or health products a place to help them eat and stay healthy.

“If you can help somebody achieve one of their goals, if you can help somebody feel better, you will forever be blessed," Davis said.

A second location opened a few months ago. Sunshine’s granddaughter, Iman Moshay, is a manager and plans to carry his legacy on in the community.

“Take care of the people around you and love everybody," Moshay said.

While they'll miss Sunshine, they'll never forget what he and his name meant.

“Life, it’s happiness ... if nothing happens every day the sun will shine,” Moshay said.

The services for Sunshine will be held this weekend. His family is asking everyone to wear yellow.

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