During her time with Disney, Kern was presented with the Mousecar Award, as well as the key to Fantasyland, according to her family.

By Gabrielle Chung
October 01, 2020 at 09:27 PM EDT
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Credit: Roberts Funeral Home

Bonni Lou Kern, one of the original Mouseketeers on The Mickey Mouse Club, has died. She was 79.

The TV star died on Monday in an assisted living facility in Wooster, Ohio, according to her obituary. She was with her beloved cat of 19 years, JoJo.

Born in 1941 in Alhambra, California, Kern rose to fame when she appeared as a Mouseketeer in Disney's The Wonder Mouseketeers!.

At just 14 years old, Kern starred in the inaugural episode — titled "Save Bonni Lour Kern!" — in which her fellow Mouseketeers try to rescue her from a fishing net. She went on to appear on the spinoff film Save the Wonder Mouseketeers!.

During her time with Disney, Kern was presented with the Mousecar Award — the highest honor bestowed by the company — as well as the key to Fantasyland, according to her family.

Bonni Lou Kern
| Credit: Roberts Funeral Home

Kern changed her named to Bonni Carr when she married Harold “Bud” Carr in the late '60s in Hawaii.

In addition to her career at Disney, Kern also was worked at Lowe's for many years, her obituary said.

Kern was preceded in death by her husband Bud and her brother Michael. She is survived by her children Kimberly Ellington, Allyson Struzan and Janet Bucklew, six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Chasen Hampton, who was a Mouseketeer on the revived The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, honored Kern on his Twitter, writing on Wednesday, "Paying respect this morning to one of our MMC older sisters. #BonniLouKern from the Original 50’s #MickeyMouseClub has passed away."

"She was an incredible talent and will be missed greatly by her fans and #Disney family," Hampton added. "#AlwaysInTheClub."

In keeping with Kern's wishes, there will be no funeral service, though her family asks that memorial contributions be made to COPD Foundation in Miami, Florida.

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This Story Originally Appeared On People

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