Walt Disney reading to a young Diane Disney and her sister.

Walt Disney reading to a young Diane Disney and her sister.

Yesterday we saw a flurry of posts informing us that Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney’s daughter, had passed away. As us fans always try to carry on the legacy of Walt, she was an advocate of her father telling stories, and always open.

I had the pleasure of meeting Diane a few times and she was a pleasant person and always willing to talk about her father, one of my idols, the Disney company, and more.

Diane’s passing came from some injuries she obtained when she fell a few months ago. She was never able to fully overcome these injuries and now has passed on. She was 79 year old. Diane was the only surviving child from Walt and Lillian Disney. Her husband Ron Miller served as CEO of the Walt Disney Company early in his career.

Diane and her sister were the inspiration for Disneyland, Walt’s original park . As he sat on the bench watching his children play, he wanted to make a place where parents and children could come and play together. His daughters were also the inspiration for making the film Mary Poppins, in which he promised one day he would make their favorite books into a film.

Bob Iger, current president of the Walt Disney Company has issued a statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Diane Disney Miller and our thoughts are with her family during this difficult time.  As the beloved daughter of Walt Disney and one of his inspirations for creating Disneyland, she holds a special place in the history of The Walt Disney Company and in the hearts of fans everywhere.  She will be remembered for her grace and generosity and tireless work to preserve her father’s legacy, and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.  In her memory and honor, flags at the Disney Studio Lot in Burbank and at our theme parks will be flown at half-mast.”

Our hearts go out to the family, friends and those who have come to know this outstanding woman. It will be our job as fans to carry on the legacy of Diane, and that of her father Walt, she worked so very hard to maintain.