Statue honoring Duane Zemper set for unveiling on Nov. 4, 2018

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On what would have been the 99th birthday of Howell icon Duane Zemper, the statue honoring his legacy will be unveiled at a special ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, on the lawn of the Howell Carnegie District Library. The statue will be located on the southeast corner of the library grounds.

Following the unveiling of the statue, there will be a meet-and-greet with artists Colin and Kristine Poole, with cake and punch to celebrate Duane Zemper’s 99th birthday at the Howell Opera House, 123 W. Grand River Ave., Howell.

Some of Duane Zemper’s work will be on display, as well as the Emmy Award-winning film “WWII: Through the Lens of Duane Zemper,” along with the film “Creating the Zemp Legacy Monument,” put together by artist Colin Poole.

Duane Zemper when he was a aerial photographer in WWII, documenting bombings

The Duane Zemper Legacy Project committee is a collaboration of the Howell Rotary, The Howell Carnegie District Library and the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which provides fiduciary oversight. The group was formed to memorialize the enormous contribution to Howell by the man fondly known as “Zemp.”

After a nationwide request for proposal, the sculpture team of Colin & Kristine Poole of Santa Fe, New Mexico was chosen to create the sculpture.

The Pooles are nationally-renowned and have family and roots in Livingston County. The husband-and-wife team have numerous accomplishments, including corporate commissions for such notable clients as the National Audubon society, The Nature Conservancy, PBS, the US Postal Service and others.

An honored photographer, Duane Zemper valued education and was a co-founder of the Howell Archives. In the sculpture, a slightly “larger-than-life” Zemp will be holding his camera and leaning on a tall pile of books, wearing his trademark sweater and bolo tie.

Always proud to be a Howell Rotarian and his 66-year perfect attendance record, his Rotary pin will be on his sweater.

Duane Zemper’s preservation of photographs taken by his predecessors 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 was named Citizen of the Year by the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce in 1976.

Contributions by both individuals and corporations are still being sought for the Duane Zemper Legacy Project. For complete information and to make a donation go to


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