Stanley Campbell, Uncle Luke's Father and Local AA Leader, Dies at 90

When he was 18 years old, Stanley Victor Campbell moved from New York to Miami. Over the next seven decades, he would become an institution in the city, noted for his work in public schools and later in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Along the way, he also had five sons — including Luther, better known as First Amendment-battling rapper and New Times columnist Uncle Luke.   

"I've talked to so many people who said, 'He truly saved my life,'" his son Stanley Victor Jr. says of his father's work with AA. 

Stanley Campbell died Sunday; he was 90 years old. 

Campbell was born August 16, 1925, to Jamaican parents in New York and bounced between the island and New York in his early life, according to his son Stanley. He followed an uncle to Miami as a teenager and stayed put, finding work on the docks as a union man. He soon met Yvonne, a hairdresser to an influential crowd in black Miami, and married her. 

Campbell worked for unions his whole life, his son says, first on the docks, then as a mechanic and truck driver before snagging work with Miami-Dade County Public Schools as a shop steward. He and Yvonne raised their family near NW 62nd Street and 11th Avenue — "It's still the nicest house on the block," the younger Stanley says — and spent decades working at Highland Oaks Middle School until he retired. Later in life, he joined AA and spent 35 years as an active local member of the organization, Stanley says. 

He was quietly charismatic and always full of surprises. "Just recently, he called me at work and started reciting poetry to me," says Stanley, the CEO of an analytics firm in Virginia. "I said, 'This is the union shop leader reciting poetry to me?'"

Stanley is survived by five sons and daughters-in-law, 18 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. A viewing for friends and family is scheduled for Friday, October 30, at 6 p.m. in the Chapel of the Church of the Incarnation (1835 NW 54th St., Miami). The funeral service is planned for October 31 at 11 a.m. in the same chapel.
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink