Stevie Wonder’s father, Calvin Judkins Jr., was born in 1904 in Montgomery County, Alabama.  He died in 1976, at the age of 72, in a part of Michigan known as Wayne County.  More specifically, he passed away at the Allen Park Veterans Hospital.

Judkins Jr. was, according to the Detroit Free Press, “a disabled veteran of World War II”.  That would likely explain why one of the few pictures of him in circulation has Calvin in a sailor’s uniform (as shown above).

Calvin Judkins is known to have had at least two children, Calvin (1949) and Stevland (1950), both with Lula Mae Hardaway.  Stevland would later go on to become Stevie Wonder.

Lula Mae was born in 1930, so Calvin Judkins was significantly older than her.  In 2002, she authorized a biography of her life via a book titled Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway, Stevie Wonder’s Mother.  Excerpts taken from that text reveal that Calvin was abusive towards Lula and even “forced her into prostitution”.  Other reports indicate that Judkins was basically akin to a down-and-out street hustler.  However, being “a frustrated musician” himself, he did help young Stevland develop musical skills.

Lula Mae authorized Hardaway’s biography, as available on Amazon

But Stevie definitely didn’t have the same type of closeness with his dad that he did with his mom.  For instance, Lula was instrumental in the first decade of Wonder’s career, even co-writing some of his songs.  Meanwhile, when Judkins passed away in 1976, Stevie was arguably the top musician in the United States.  Yet it does not appear that Calvin was afforded a fancy funeral or anything like that.  While providing a brief history of Stevie Wonder’s life upon interviewing him in 2004, Oprah Winfrey did verify that “his father was estranged from the family”.