Ruth Ziolkowski, the 87 year old matriarch of the Crazy Horse Monument passed away recently. She was a wise old woman and a source of inspiration to so many.
She and her husband Korczak shared a passion to do something for the Native Americans.
When Ruth was asked the question when Crazy Horse would be finished, she contemplated the answer for a while and then answered “Probably on a Tuesday”. Today when she is with us no more, Ruth leaves behind sweet memories of her bold and passionate character.
Ruth Ziolkowski died at the age of 87 battling with cancer. An acquaintance expressed grief and sorrow at the demise of Ruth. She was a part of our sacred circle, said the acquaintance.
"Like many, I was deeply saddened to hear about Ruth’s passing," family friend and Olympic gold medal winner Billy Mills said. "It was very clear to me that Ruth is a part of our sacred circle.
It is seldom that such a well-meaning person with high values and sacred principles arrives and leads others towards a goal. The accomplishments of Ruth were many.
Her power, deep wisdom and level of integrity make her a VIP in her own right. She was one of those fine souls who inspire others by their strength of character.
"Once in a great while an individual's achievements based upon the virtues and values by which they live their lives shines through," the Pine Ridge Reservation native said.
"This allows us to be inspired by their strength, learn from their wisdom, be touched by their humility, and to be blessed by their sacredness. It has been said, `These rare individuals become our true elders, a status they achieve based upon how they live their lives.' Ruth was among those few."
The way Ruth led her life is proof of her sincerity and sense of honor. The sculptor Korczak was approached by the Native American Indians to build a monument in the mountains that would match the White Man’s might and tell him once and for all that they too had heroes.
It became a lifelong obsession with Korczak after that time. Ruth joined Korczak and she never backed away from the challenge. They were married and had ten kids one after the other.
Her husband died in 1982 and from then onwards it was Ruth’s responsibility to see the monument through to its completion. America has lost a wise and wonderful woman in the form of Ruth. She will be remembered for a long time as a sincere female who dedicated her life to living for others.