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Joe Friday

Dana Haggard Merle Haggard's eldest daughter has died

Dana Haggard, Merle Haggard's eldest daughter has died.

Her brother Ben Haggard writes: "My oldest sister Dana passed away yesterday.... I know she's hugging dad's arm again: I'll miss you sister. RIP."

The cause of her death is unknown at this time.

According to Bakersfield.com, Dana Haggard's family believes she died in her sleep, either on Monday night (April 9) or Tuesday morning. Her sister, Kelli Haggard Patterson, tells the news outlet that Dana's husband, Terry Lemons, left for work on Tuesday morning while she was still sleeping and found her in the same spot later that day.

Ben Haggard says, "It could have been heartache. We just had the second anniversary [of our father's death], and she was missing the old man. Who knows?"

Dana Haggard was born in 1957, to Merle Haggard and his first wife, Leona Hobbs; however, according to Rolling Stone, on the day she was born, her father, then 19, was in jail for car theft. In fact, Dana Haggard would not get to know her father well until she was older: He went to jail for five years, for trying to break into a diner, when she was just an infant, and after his brushes with the law, he was often on tour.

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