Ruth Ziolkowski, Crazy Horse Memorial Leader, dies at age 87. - KOTA Territory News

Ruth Ziolkowski, Crazy Horse Memorial Leader, dies at age 87.

photo courtesy: Crazy Horse Memorial photo courtesy: Crazy Horse Memorial
The woman who continued on with the artistic dream of her late sculptor husband has died.  Ruth Ziolkowski, 87, passed away Wednesday in Rapid City.

Ruth Ross was born on June 26, 1926, in Hartford, Connecticut.  She grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut, which is where she first met the sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski.  

She came to the Black Hills of South Dakota in June of 1947 to help Korczak create a memorial to honor the North American Indian.  

The Ziolkowskis married on Thanksgiving Day of 1950.  Together they had 10 children, many of whom helped their mother continue on with Korczak's work. 

Ruth had served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation since her husband’s passing in October 1982.  And she had worked with the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Board of Directors in preparing for succession of leadership.  A 3-member Executive Management Team is in place to lead the continued growth and development of the non-profit Foundation. 

In a news release from Crazy Horse spokesperson Mike Morgan. "Ruth's 23 grand children and 11 great-grand children, who with her ten children, and many friends around the world, today are feeling a great loss." 

Mrs. Ziolkowski had been suffering from cancer for the past few months. She was preceded in death by her husband and her daughter Anne.

A celebration of Ruth’s life and legacy will be held at Crazy Horse Memorial at a date and time to be announced.  A memorial fund has been established in Ruth’s name to the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation.
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