A project to memorialize a Howell icon has moved a step closer to reality.

The Duane Legacy Project committee, formed to memorialize the man fondly known as “Zemp,” has selected artists and a sculpture design. After a nationwide request for proposal, the sculpture team of Colin & Kristine Poole of Santa Fe, New Mexico was chosen from eight finalists. The Pooles are nationally-renowned and have family and roots in Livingston County. The husband-and-wife team has numerous accomplishments, including corporate commissions for such notable clients as the National Audubon society, The Nature Conservancy, PBS, the US Postal Service and others.

After an extensive design process involving the Pooles and the committee, the bronze sculpture the Pooles will create is a “larger than life” Duane Zemper in his later years, dressed in his familiar sweater and bolo tie , holding his camera and leaning on a tall pile of books. An honored photographer, Duane Zemper valued education and was a co-founder of the Howell Archives. His 66-year perfect Howell Rotary attendance will be marked with a Rotary pin on the statue’s sweater. When completed, the sculpture will be installed on the lawn of the Howell Carnegie District Library, although the exact location has yet to be determined. (This rendering does not represent the final location for the statue) The goal of the committee is to have the sculpture installed by the end of 2018.

Zemper’s preservation of historic photographs and those he took throughout his career have recorded the area’s history for future generations. He was a photographer in WWII before moving to Howell in 1946, where he was an active community member until his death in 2016. He was a founding member of the Howell Athletic Boosters and the Howell Archives and was named Citizen of the Year in 1976. The project is a collaboration between the Howell Rotary Club, community members and the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which is acting as the fiduciary for the project.

Committee chairman Mike Hall says the final phase of fundraising is underway. “We are seeking contributions of any size from the community as well as a few more significant contributions from area business leaders and community members.” Donors of $500 to $5,000 and above will be memorialized on a bronze plaque adjacent to the statue. For more information on the project and the life of Duane Zemper, or to make a contribution, you can check out the link below or contact Mike Hall at 517-546-1600.

Hall and committee member Brent Earl joined Mike & Jon in the Morning to talk more about the process. You can hear that interview by Clicking Here. (JK)