Cover photo for Diesta Marie "Dee" Hager Johnson's Obituary
Diesta Marie "Dee" Hager Johnson Profile Photo
1970 Diesta 2021

Diesta Marie "Dee" Hager Johnson

July 31, 1970 — June 7, 2021

Diesta Marie "Dee" Hager JohnsonJuly 31, 1970 - June 7, 2021"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" Phil 1:21The Lord peacefully called Dee home the morning of June 7, 2021, following a decade long battle with Huntington's Disease. Diesta was born to Rob and Peggy (Nebel) Hager on July 31, 1970. With a beautiful mane of dark curly hair, gorgeous brown eyes, and sweet disposition, Dee was cherished by all who knew her. She was followed 11 months later by brother, Robert "Robby," and the two were often mistaken for twins. In kindergarten, Dee was too little to climb on the bus by herself, so they held her back one year so they were in the same class. She attended elementary schools in Belgrade, Bozeman, Gateway, and Cottonwood. In her early years they lived on the family ranch on Gooch Hill Road in Gateway, where she raised replacement heifers on their dairy. Following 8th grade, the family moved to their cabin up Skunk Creek. Dee and Robby attended Bozeman High School as freshmen before transferring to Clyde Park High School in the fall of 1986. Dee had wonderful high school years as a cheerleader with her best friend Deana (Tanner) Holt. During this time her sister Tana joined the family. It was here she met the love of her life, Kelly Johnson, and he didn't stand a fighting chance against her charm. Dee was 4'11", a dark haired beauty and Kelly was a 6'4" strapping blonde and fair young man. As opposite as they were in looks, you could not have found a more perfect duo; the football player and his cheerleader. They graduated from Clyde Park in 1989. The two made for a striking couple that drew smiles from those around them with their fun-loving antics.Kelly proposed to Dee for 5 years before she said yes. They were married on June 5, 1993 and celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary before she passed. They welcomed their first daughter, Taylor Lynn, in August 1998 and their second daughter, Kayla Jane, four years later in December 2002. Dee loved nothing more than being a mom to her girls. She was so proud of each of their many accomplishments and valiantly held onto life long enough to see Kayla graduate from Shields Valley High School on May 23. She was a wonderful mother.Dee loved animals and had many special pets. Her favorite times were spent doing anything with family, including hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and being at the lake, but most of all, she LOVED shopping! Dee was mischievous (making Robby stick a fork in an outlet), a little bossy (he had to piggy back her up the hill when the snow was too deep for her car), patient, kind, forgiving and often laughed until she snorted (even when Kelly slapped her butt so hard she fell in a creek headfirst). She was a wonderful wife, sister, daughter, aunt and friend.Dee began her career in the office of Billion Auto Body, working beside her dad for many years. She then stayed home raising the girls and watching her nieces and nephews before returning to Clyde Park, where she worked at the Crazy Mountain Ranch until her health declined.In 2011 Dee was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, a fatal neurological disease similar to having ALS, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's all at the same time. Throughout these last 10 years, Kelly has faithfully stood by her side as her caregiver, husband and friend. The family has compassionately and lovingly cared for Dee in their home with the help of the girls, Kelly's mom Sue, a special caregiver named Chelsea, and the support of the entire Clyde Park community.Diesta is survived by her loving husband, Kelly, and their girls, Taylor and Kayla. She is also survived by her dad, Rob E Hager and step mother, Laura Hager; her brothers and sisters: Rob R (Julie) of Belgrade, Tana Hager of Parker, CO, Jim (Sheri) Schuman of Seabeck, WA, Skyler (Whitney) of Littleton, CO, and Amandalee "Amy" of Bozeman; father and mother in-law, Dick and Sue Johnson of Clyde Park, MT; sister in-law Christy (Lonnie) Wirtz of Belgrade, MT, brother in-law Scott Johnson of Manhattan, MT, sister in-law Lyn (Tom) Whelchel of Canby, OR; and many in-laws, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.Dee was preceded in death by her mother Peggy in 1998; her grandparents, Rudy and Marie Hager and Joe and Peggy Nebel. A special thank you to Sue for her steadfast and loving care for Dee any time day or night. Chelsea, our gratitude for the love you have given is beyond words. The family wishes to also thank Sharon, Kelsey and gals at Spectrum Medical; Marci at MILP (Montana Independent Living Project); Dr. Joshua Knappenberger at Bozeman Health Neurology; and Pam and her crew with Compassus Hospice.While we deeply grieve her passing, we are grateful she is finally free from this disease.A celebration of life will be held Wednesday, June 16 at 4 pm at the Shields Valley Community Center in Clyde Park, MT. Refreshments to follow. A private interment will be held Thursday. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Johnson Girls Benefit Fund at Bank of the Rockies, PO Box 2, Clyde Park, MT 59018. Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements.
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