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Ruth Ziolkowski
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    (June 26, 1926-May 21, 2014)
    Born in West Hartford, Connecticut
    Born Ruth Carolyn Ross
    Married Polish-American sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski in 1950
    Accompanied her husband into the Black Hills as he underwent work on a Monument to the Siox Warrior, Crazy Horse, in South Dakota
    Took up leadership in the project upon the death of h;er husband in 1982
    Served as Chairman of the Board for the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Board of Directors
    As the Head CEO of the project, completed the 8.7 foot 'face' of Crazy Horse on the mountain in South Dakota (1998)
    Succeeded as leader of the Crazy Horse Memorial, upon her death, by her two daughters and Memorial President, Laurie Becvar
    She married her husband on Thanksgiving.
    She first met Korczak as a 13-year old, knocking on his door to get the autograph of a movie actor who was visiting him.
    Her last name - difficult to pronounce - resulted in people nicknaming her 'Mrs. Z.'
    Progress of the Memorial slowed down dramatically when she and her children took over its development.
    She reasoned that shifting the focus of the project from completing the 'horse's head' and the outstretched arm, to focusing on the 'face' would serve to make it a tourist attraction enabling the project to self-fund.
    As of her death in 2014, the Crazy Horse project has remained far from being even close to finished.
    She had previously helped Korczak create a sculpture of Noah Webster for a West Hartford Library.
    She assisted her husband by drawing up books containing comprehensive plans/measurements for the sculpture.
    She not only ran the complex's visitor center, but also worked the dairy farm/lumber mill which sustained the project during its early years.
    The Crazy Horse project probably would have been scuttled after Korczak's death, if she hadn't steered it in the proper direction.
    She was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame (1988).
    She received an honorary degree from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
    She was responsible for extending the outreach of the 1,000 acre Crazy Horse complex to the American Indian community.
    She was instrumental in expanding the Indian Museum of North America, at the site of the Memorial.
    She was credited with establishing the Indian University of North America, in 2009.
    The Foundation's Scholarship Program exceeded $2 million in financial assistance awarded to Native American students.
    After receiving news of her death, Governor Dennis Daugaard ordered for flags to be flown at half-staff in her honor.
    She is interred in a stone coffin at the base of Thunderhead Mountain, next to her husband's burial site.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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