Friday, April 19, 2024


Munce Named Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshal

The Westport Veterans Council announced today it has named Westport artist Howard Munce as grand marshal for this year’s Memorial Day parade on May Image
Howard Munce: saw WWII action in Pacific. WN file photo/Phyllis Groner

Munce, 92, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942 and rose to the rank of platoon sergeant, according to a biography supplied by the Council.

He was part of the assault landing on Bougainville, one of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific that was occupied by the Japanese and used as a base to attack Guadalcanal and other Allied territory.

While there, Munce won a field commission to second lieutenant. When he was part of the assault landing on Guam, he was promoted to first lieutenant.

After two years in the South Pacific, Munce was given two weeks leave, the Council said. On return to Guam, he was shipped out to Iwo Jima, where Japanese and American forces fought some of the fiercest fighting of the campaign.

After three days of heavy casualties, Munce’s unit was so well trained that commanders returned the Marines to Guam so they could be saved for an assault on Japan. A week later, Munce was sent home, then to officers’ training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina until the war’s end.

Munce has been part of the Westport art scene since the 1930s as an artist, designer and teacher. In 1963, after a 16-year career as an advertising agency art director, he turned to freelance graphic design, illustration, writing, and teaching.

He was a faculty member of the Paier College of Art in Hamden, Conn., for 10 years and left the college as professor emeritus. He later taught at Fairfield University.

He is the author of three art books and the editor/designer of several others. He designed “Westport: A Special Place” for the Westport Historical Society and “Community of Artists” for the Westport Arts Center, and Westport’s Bi-Centennial Calendar.

He designed most of the graphic material for the Westport Public Library and Friends of the Library over a period of 27 years.

He is co-author of the McManus Room’s drawing collection: “Westport Artists, Past and and Present.” His painting of the Remarkable Book Shop, a late Westport landmark, hangs in the stairwell to the Children’s Room and is part of the library’s permanent collection.

Munce is the honorary president of the Society of Illustrators and chairman of the Stanford Lowe Illustration Collection Committee of the New Britain Museum of American Art.

Also he is a contributor to the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection and a member of that Collection’s committee. He is vice president of the Westport Arts Center and the Center’s first recipient of its Heida Herman Achievement Award (with George Wright) and of Westport’s Arts Award for Visual Arts, 2001.

10 thoughts on “Munce Named Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshal

  1. This gentlemen has truely earned his stripes. He deserves a salute from the Town for a job well done. It’s people like this that should be held up as role models for our youth.

    Tom Bloch

  2. This is wonderful news, and Ken and I will watch for him in the parade.  Howard is a town treasure and a darned nice guy and a fabulous artist (my favorite is on the stairs coming down from the 3rd floor of the library).  Congratulations on a wise choice!

  3. You have picked a winner!  Howard is a town jewel.  We are all
    blessed to live in the same town as Howard.  He is a unique man…full of grace, talent and style.

  4. My first introduction to Howard Munce was through Martin West’s wonderful documentary about Westport’s illustrious history as a haven for artists (titled A Gathering of Glory and avail through the Westport Public Library).  In the past few years I’ve gotten to know Howard through his generous support of the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection.  I’m not surprised to find that I’m just one of this remarkable gentleman’s many admirers!  Congratulations Howard!  Stacey Landowne

  5. Westporters are blessed with a community of fabulous artists with Howard Munce leading the pack. I know Howard as a dedicated member and generous art contributor to the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection. He attends every meeting with active involvement, which is inspiring.
    He is not only an important part of our Westport art heritage, but he continues to work to sustain it for all Westporters to enjoy.
    Hooray for this years choice of Howard as Grand Marshal! See you all at the parade to celebrate with him!

  6. There is no one better than Howard Munce to be the Grand Marshall of this year’s Memorial Day parade.  He is a true Westport gem!  We’ll look forward to his always smiling face leading the parade!

    Katie & Bill Chase

  7. The following comment isn’t from me, but from a friend, Mollie Donovan, who asked me on Thursday to share her comments on WestportNow: 

    “Please add my congratulations.  Howard is a Westport Treasure who richly deserves every honor that can be bestowed on him!  He has touched the hearts and minds of generations of Westporters with his whimsical sense of humor, great stories of times past and yet is ready each day to look forward to tomorrow.  What a role model!  He and Gerri are a wonderful couple…love them both.  Mollie and Jack Donovan”

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