By Jennifer DiDomenico
The Disney community lost a very special member earlier this month. Richard Gerth, a longtime cast member for Walt Disney World Resort, passed away at 92 years of age.
Gerth was a greeter at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where he would tip his hat and give his best regards to guests entering and exiting the hotel, always with a smile on his face.
What stood out on Gerth’s cream-colored, three-piece suit was his blue name tag. While Disney name tags share a cast member’s name and hometown, and often achievements, cast members with solid blue name tags are known to be recipients of the Walt Disney Legacy Award— an award that recognizes cast members, crew members and Imagineers around the world, who embody the values to “dream, create and inspire.”
Another familiar face who has received the award is “Ye Haa” Bob Jackson, who entertains all at a piano show at River Roost Lounge located at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.
The Facebook page dedicated to Gerth — “Richard Gerth – Grand Floridian Greeter” — confirmed his passing on June 7.
The confirmation post reads, “It is with great sadness that we can confirm the passing of our favorite greeter, Richard Gerth. At the time of passing he was resting very peacefully and surrounded by his family. It was a graceful transition from this life to the next. We are thankful for all of the memories that have been shared and the family appreciates your thoughts and prayers during this sad time.”
The page has more than 17,000 likes. In November 2015, the page had just exceeded 1,000 likes.