Elizabeth Vandergeest and Kirsten Jandrasitz
Born December 18, 1933, Diane Disney, daughter of the famous Walt Disney started her amazing journey and life path. Diane was the only biological child of Walt and his wife Lillian but was also the oldest. She had a younger sister Sharon who the Disney’s adopted in 1936, but she later died in 1993.
Diane married Ron W. Miller in 1954 and the two had seven children, Christopher (1954), Joanna (1956), Tamara (1957), Jennifer (1960), Walter (1961), Ronald (1963) and Patrick (1967). In 1970 the family purchased a vineyard in Napa Valley, California, the two had no intentions of started a vineyard, just a living space. In 1980 the couple started constructing their own vineyard and since 1981 they have been running Silverado Vineyards Winery. Aside from operation a vineyard, Ron Miller was also the CEO of The Walt Disney Company until 1984, when a cousin of Diane took over.
Being extremely helpful in making the Disney name known and growing the company, Disney Miller pushed to open Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. Due to over costs the idea was not accepted but Disney Miller would not let that happen, she ensured the original design and later in 2004, Walt Disney Hall was officially open. Her next project was the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, after reading her father original dedication Disney Miller was truly inspired, the museum opened in October 2009.
After a lifetime for magic and happiness, Diane Disney Miller, the last surviving children of Walt Disney passed away. At the age of 79, Disney Miller lived one of the most amazing lives. She passed away on November 19, 2013 in her Napa Valley home. Reports were stated that the cause of death was due to a fall that had happened earlier in the year. Disney Miller was a wonderful woman to remember and upheld the tradition of Disney extremely well.
“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 Co. and in the hearts of fans everywhere,” Robert A. Iger, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “She will be remembered for her grace and generosity and tireless work to preserve her father’s legacy.”
These are photos of Diane Disney Miller throughout her lifetime.