On April 10, 2018, Merle Haggard’s oldest daughter passed away in her sleep at 61 years old, according to her half-brother, Ben Haggard. Ben shared the information on social media on Wednesday, April 11, and condolonces have been flocking in ever since as she was deeply loved by many.
Dana’s family believe that she passed away in her sleep, late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. Her husband, Terry Lemons, left for work on Tuesday morning while she was still asleep, and returned home to find her in the same spot.
Dana passed away almost exactly two years after her father, and according to Ben, he wonders if she died of heartache, although no official cause of death has been released. Dana was extremely close to her father and even played in his band, The Strangers.
Born in 1957 in Bakersfield, California, to Merle’s first wife, Leona Hobbs, she didn’t have the opportunity to really get to know her father until he was older. He was in jail on the day she was born for car theft, and then he went to jail for five years for trying to break into a diner when she was an infant. Then, he went on tour.
Dana leaves behind her husband and their four children, Mathew, Kelli, Jarod, and Michael, as well as her stepson, Austin. She also leaves behind nine grandchildren and her beloved siblings.
Please keep her beloved family and friends in your thoughts and prayers as they face this horrific loss. Dana will be sorely missed by everyone who knew and loved her.
This is a horrible story, and we know that sometimes we need a reminder of the good in the world at a time like this, so be sure to check out the video below!