Our History

Bob Zabel bought an existing monument company in Manitowoc in June of 1970 and named it Zabel Monuments. Bob’s son, John, began working for his father immediately. John has taken several courses through the Elberton Granite Association in Georgia.

Bob was influential in forming the Wisconsin Association of Monument Builders (WAMB) and served as their President. John also worked his way through the WAMB board of directors serving several positions, including President from 1990-1992.

John purchased the family business from his father in 1985.

In 1989 Zabel Monuments expanded to Sheboygan by acquiring Modern Monuments. This acquisition established Zabel’s Modern Monuments.

In 1996 following high school, John’s son Eric, joined the family business. Eric is a graduate of the Barre Granite Technical Program in Barre, Vermont. He is active in WAMB as well and has served several positions on the board of directors including President from 2002-2004. This made Zabel Monuments the only firm in Wisconsin to have three generations serve as WAMB’s President.

Eric completed the Certified Memorialist (CM) credential in 2005. This is the highest achievement in the memorial business. There are only 109 CM’s in the United States with only 3 located here in Wisconsin.

In 2012, Eric was invited to be a member of the American Institute of Commemorative Art (AICA). AICA consists of 55 of the best designers in North America. Membership is by invitation only. Eric is the only member of the Institute from Wisconsin.

Eric purchased the family business from his father in 2014 starting the 3rd generation of ownership.

I can’t thank you enough for taking the stone out on Aug. 19th. It meant so much to me. The entire family, went to the cemetery that Friday night to see the bench. The kids thought it was perfect.

- Denise Mecha