Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson initially designed the U-2 around the F-104 Starfighter fuselage. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson initially designed the U-2 around the F-104 Starfighter fuselage. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Ishpeming was home to a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, aircraft designer, and Michigan Supreme Court justice turned author. New bronze statues will celebrate their legacies.

ISHPEMING, MI — In a time when statues are being dismantled for their racist symbolism, one UP town is honoring three of its greatest residents’ enduring legacies with a trio of bright bronze statues.   

The foundation was recently poured for the Three Sons of Ishpeming Memorial, which will honor 1951 Nobel Prize-winning scientist Glenn Seaborg, aircraft designer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, and Michigan Supreme Court justice and author John Voelker, who wrote a book that was turned into the popular 1959 film, “Anatomy of a Murder.” 

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“We have created a lot of leaders that have come from this community, so it’s been a pleasure to do this project,” memorial coordinator Bob Marietti told WJMN-TV.

The memorial is expected to be finished by fall.

“I relied on what I could find from historical documents to give me an idea of who they were and what they look like,” said Mike Lempinen, artistic creator. “I have completed the sculpture and, in fact, right after the Fourth of July, it’ll go to the studio for casting into bronze.”