Just a few days after the second anniversary of country legend Merle Haggard’s passing, his family was in mourning once again. His youngest son, Ben Haggard, took to Instagram on Wednesday (April 11) to reveal that Dana, his oldest sister passed away the day before.
He posted a very sweet photo of Dana hugging Merle’s arm and wrote, “My oldest sister Dana passed away yesterday. This photo absolutely broke my heart, I know she’s hugging dads arm again. I’ll miss you sister RIP.”
In recent years, Dana performed in her father’s band, The Strangers, as a backup singer. Merle made music a family affair – Ben was the lead guitarist, and his wife Theresa also sang backup. When Merle passed away, The Strangers finished out the rest of Merle’s tour dates with Ben and Merle’s older sons Noel and Marty singing lead.
According to Facebook posts from close friends, Dana passed away from a heart attack. Another friend announced Dana’s death on Facebook.
Dana’s mother was Merle’s first wife Leona Hobbs, who passed away in 2006.
(Photo shared from Dana Haggard’s Facebook of Merle, Bonnie Owens [Merle’s second wife], Dana, Marty, Kelli, and Noel around the Christmas tree.)
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Haggard family during this difficult time.