ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) – Ten volunteers members of Chapter 6 of Michigan Bricklayers Local 2 were awarded a 2022 Craft Award for Outstanding Public Service on Friday. The ceremony was held at the ‘Three Sons of Ishpeming’ memorial on Hematite Drive.

The ten volunteers received the award following their 22 weeks spent crafting the memorial in the summer of 2020. The recognition comes from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) Craft Awards Program. The program recognizes local unions, as well as BAC craftworkers for excellence in the trowel trades industry and outstanding Union and community service across the U.S. and Canada.

“It was for the best volunteer project for the bricklayers’ unions across these two places,” said Robert Marietti, project engineer for the Three Sons memorial. “It’s really a source of pride and community service that’s reflected in this, and this was a very well-done project. And I think the judges recognized that.”

The volunteer members honored were Brent Bleckinar, Norman Duman, William Eman, Tim Etter, John Holliday, Brian Lantto, Brian Ranta, Adam Saari, Alex Sovey, and Victor Tullila.

The memorial honors three historic Ishpeming natives: Dr. Glenn Seaborg, Clarence ‘Kelly’ Johnson, and John Voelker. The busts of the three rest on a 15-ton hematite rock from the Republic Mine.

Seaborg was a Nobel Prize-winning chemist. He is credited as a discoverer or co-discoverer of ten elements and was a member of the Manhattan Project.

Voelker was a justice on Michigan’s Supreme Court. He was also an author, with his most famous work, Anatomy of a Murder, being adapted into an Academy Award-winning film.

Johnson was an aeronautical engineer and designed over 40 aircraft. He was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The work the volunteers completed has an estimated cost of well over $100,000, with 45 tons of concrete used to complete the memorial. The volunteers said they felt the memorial was fitting to recognize some of the important figures to come from Ishpeming.

“Pretty honorable people right from this small community,” said Alex Sovey, apprentice instructor for Local 2 Bricklayers. “It’s called the heritage museum, and it reflects the true heritage of this area, this mining community. It’s not just a little mining town, it’s created some very notable people.”