Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Austin Campbell hailed as a family man

Published:Monday | July 20, 2020 | 12:15 AMRasbert Turner/Gleaner Writer
Pall-bearers carry the mortal remains of Austin Campbell from Angels Assembly of God in Monticello, Spanish Town, St Catherine, after a remembrance service for the late sculptor.
Pall-bearers carry the mortal remains of Austin Campbell from Angels Assembly of God in Monticello, Spanish Town, St Catherine, after a remembrance service for the late sculptor.

Late sculptor Austin Campbell was praised last week for his professional artistry, but the most glowing tribute described him as a dedicated family man.

Campbell died at his home on June 23 after a short illness. He was 85.

Donna Bryan, one of his four children, recalled happy memories of her father playing music and dancing for his family. She also said he was committed to taking care of his children.

“Daddy was a very hard person on himself in providing for his family. Daddy was invited to live abroad and he refused, as he wanted to be close to his family,” said Bryan.

“Daddy would work daily to provide shelter and food for us, and we are thankful. That’s love. That was Daddy.”

Bryan told the gathering at Angels Assembly of God in Spanish Town, St Catherine, that Campbell’s last work was a sculpture of Bob Marley in February.

The octogenarian also predeceased his wife of 50 years, Ivelda.

In her homily, Pastor Sophia Simpson urged the family and well-wishers to take comfort in Campbell’s eternal destiny.

“It’s said that if the soul is right, then it only gets better,” Simpson said. “It’s clear that you may be hurt, (but) just know that he is gone to a better place.”

Campbell, who was born in St Mary, was trained in cabinetmaking, but after moving to Spanish Town he was encouraged to pursue a course in sculpture at the Jamaica School of Art (now Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts). He went on to win more than a dozen awards at the Jamaica Annual Fine Arts Exhibition/Festival.

Campbell’s remains were interred at the Meadowrest Memorial Gardens in St Catherine.