Mouseketeer Annette Funicello remembered by Walt Disney's daughter

Walt Disney’s daughter said the nation lost a consummate professional and one of the loveliest people she has ever known with the death of Mouseketeer Annette Funicello.

Funicello, the longtime Disney and beach movie star, passed away Monday at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield at the age of 70.  She died peacefully from complications due to multiple sclerosis, a disease she battled for a quarter-century.

"Everyone who knew Annette loved and respected her. She was one of the loveliest people I've ever known, and was always so kind to everyone. She was also the consummate professional, and had such great loyalty to my father, “ said Diane Disney Miller, daughter of Walt Disney. “Annette will always be very special to me and [my husband,] Ron.”

PHOTOS: Annette Funicello - Career in pictures

Her husband, Ron Miller, who oversaw Disney in the 1980s and once worked with Annette when he was a young assistant on "The Mickey Mouse Club," added: “She was always in good spirits and ready to help out if she needed to step in when something unexpected happened."

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-- Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

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