Even on a somber day, the thought of Scott Campbell can still put a smile on Michael Garrison’s face.
Garrison stood outside Campbell’s taxicab Friday and remembered his best friend’s sense of humor.
“He was always quick with a joke,” Garrison said, his voice cracking with emotion.
Campbell, 47, died May 2 after suffering three stab wounds during an incident downtown, authorities have said. Campbell had lived in Juneau for nearly 20 years and had worked for Juneau Taxi for the past three years. Fellow cab drivers, friends and family gathered Friday to remember him.
A procession of 20 taxicabs drove from the AJ Dock to the Alaskan Memorial Park and Mortuary on Riverside Drive on Friday morning to honor Campbell. J.C. Harris, who owns Juneau Taxi & Tours along with his wife, said it’s a tradition he picked up when he drove a cab in Anchorage. The cab driver community is like a family, Harris said, and the drivers want to send departed members off in style.
They drove slowly through town, with black ribbons tied to an antenna on each car and van. Harris led the procession in his No. 24 cab, and Garrison drove Campbell’s No. 23 cab closely behind. Campbell’s widow Monica rode along with Garrison, as did other members of both the Garrison and Campbell families.
Scott and Monica each had three children, Garrison said, and Campbell did everything he could to provide for them.
“He was a great man, a great father,” Garrison said. “He did the best he could for his family, as much as he could, all the time.”
Campbell was born in Scotland, spent part of his life in North Carolina and briefly served in the Navy, Garrison said. He moved up to Ketchikan and eventually ended up in Juneau in 2002, Garrison’s wife Jennifer said.
Garrison and Harris said the response from the cab community and the Juneau community at large has been overwhelming. Garrison especially pointed to printing business AK Litho, which quickly printed out pins in Cambell’s honor.
The circular pins include a picture of Campell and the message, “Justice 4 Scott Campbell, Rest in Peace Cab #23.”
There was a memorial service for Campbell on Friday afternoon, followed by a bonfire at night. Prior to the procession, Harris said he expected many of the cab drivers to be at the service. Harris said it’s been at least a couple years since they’ve done one of these memorial processions, and the one Friday was especially somber.
“The whole thing’s really unfortunate,” Harris said. “It’s extremely sad. He left kids, he left a wife, he left friends, family. It’s something that nobody wants to ever, ever deal with. There’s a difference between somebody dying of old age who’s been able to live that whole life and somebody who’s taken away.”
A grand jury indicted Juneau man Fenton L. Jacobs, 39, Thursday with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of third-degree assault stemming from the incident, which occured just after midnight May 2. Juneau Police Department officers were called to the intersection of Franklin and Front streets to respond to a fight, according to a JPD release.
Campbell, whose full name is William Scott Campbell, was found at the scene with three stab wounds, police say. He was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital and was flown to Seattle for his injuries, but he died on the flight there, the release stated.
Those who knew him were surprised to hear the news, and Garrison said it’s been a long, unpleasant week and a half since then.
“He got along with everybody, he was never quick to jump into anything,” Garrison said. “It’s just unimaginable what transpired to get to this end.”
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.