Roy Jr. was underestimated by many people. Many people don't know who he is because he wasn't one of the "original" Disney brothers, but I remember seeing him on the Disney channel before movies played when I was a little girl. He was proud of his surname, and poured his heart and soul into the company even after the death of his dad.
During the later years of Walt's life, there was constant tension between him and his brother; many sided with them, calling themselves Team Walt or Team Roy (sound familiar)? Walt was the dreamer, never practical, and Roy was strictly business, constantly worrying about his brother's lack of care with financial matters. They made two parts of the whole, and they were both necessary for Walt Disney Productions and the legacy that followed. Roy Jr. took the best of both worlds and continued the Disney dynasty, saving it from financial crisis in the 80s when the company was nearly bought by the formidable stockbroker Saul Steinburg.
Roy ensured that Disney movies and parks remain true to his uncle's vision. There was a slump in the 70s and 80s when the Disney movies that were being made - to be blunt - sucked, at least for the most part. Roy brought in new management, who breathed new life into the company. The results were classics such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, favorites of the 90s.
I fear for the company's future now without the last Disney man guarding the empire. What's to become of the pixie dust?
DISers will never forget him...may he rest in peace.
Roy Edward Disney, January 10, 1030 - December 16, 2009
Sources: Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler;
Storming the Magic Kingdom by John Taylor