- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) - Hundreds of mourners turned out to celebrate the life and work of the woman who guided the Crazy Horse Memorial the past three decades.

Ruth Ziolkowski (joo-uhl-KUF’-skee) died last week of cancer at age 87. Her funeral was held Tuesday in the welcome center at the western South Dakota memorial that honors Native Americans.

After the service there was a special dynamite blast on the unfinished rock carving of the legendary Oglala Lakota warrior.

Ziolkowski took over leadership of the Black Hills tourist attraction upon the 1982 death of her husband, sculptor Korczak (kohr’-CHALK) Ziolkowski.

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