An event next month will honor the legacy of a Howell icon by unveiling a permanent memorial in his memory.

Not long after Duane Zemper passed away in 2016 at the age of 96, community leaders began to discuss ways to make sure his impact on the community was never forgotten. A committee of friends, family, business leaders and government officials quickly formed the Duane Zemper Legacy Project in order to erect a statue of the decorated World War II combat photographer who co-founded the Howell Area Archives, preserving pictures of the area dating back to the 19th century that might otherwise have been lost forever. “Zemp,” as he was known to many, was also a lifelong volunteer, donating both time and money to local organizations including a 66-year record of straight attendance at Howell Rotary meetings. He was also an All-American at Eastern Michigan University and U.S. Olympic track qualifier.

The statue, created by Colin and Kristine Poole, a nationally renowned sculpting team out of Sante Fe, New Mexico, will be unveiled on Sunday, November 4th at 1pm on the lawn of the Howell Carnegie District Library. Following the statue unveiling there will be a Meet and Greet with the Pooles at the Howell Opera House to celebrate Zemper’s 99th Birthday. Cake and punch will be served. Some of his work will also be on display as well as the Emmy Award Winning film “Through the Lens of Duane Zemper” along with the film “Creating the Zemp Legacy Monument”, put together by artist Colin Poole.

Donations are still needed to finish off the project costs. Details on how to do that and full information about the project are available through the link below. Committee members Mike Hall and Brent Earl also discussed the project on WHMI's Mike & Jon in the Morning. You can hear that interview by Clicking Here (JK)