Mrs. Z Peacefully Leaves a Lasting Legacy
Ruth Ziolkowski, long-time inspirational leader of Crazy Horse Memorial, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 with members of her family at her side.
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.
Ruth and Korczak married on Thanksgiving Day of 1950. Together they had 10 children, many of whom have made the Crazy Horse dream their life’s work. Ruth served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation since her husband’s passing on October 20, 1982. Ruth was preceded in death by Korczak and their daughter Anne, who passed away on May 6, 2011.
With foresight and vision, Ruth 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.
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.