BY LIZA STROUT - Dian McKeithan Miller, youngest daughter of the last keeper of the Port Boca Grande Light, passed away Wednesday morning, May 15.
Dian was well known on the island for her memories of growing up in the lighthouse. From tales of sneaking out on hot summer nights to swim in the cistern that provided water to the family to stories of her school days, Dian had many treasured memories of her time on the island.
She swam daily, climbed trees and played in the Australian pines. On one notable occasion, she offered to purchase Mr. Crowninshield’s horse from him, using her hard-earned proceeds from selling seashells to visitors.
For 10 years, Dian, her father Cody, mother Viola and older sister, Joyce, lived an idyllic life on Gasparilla Island.
In 1951, her father retired from the Coast Guard, and Dian and her family moved to the mainland. She settled on Sarasota as a home base, travelling the continent from coast-to-coast.
She returned annually for the holiday Lighting of the Lighthouse, a celebration that saw her reunited with old friends and introducing family members to the “Great Lady,” as she called the lighthouse.
Keep checking the Boca Beacon in the next week or two for Dian’s official obituary.View More images >>
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