Cover photo for De Rita Leah Hensley Baggett's Obituary
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De Rita Leah Hensley Baggett

December 15, 1946 — August 5, 2023


De Rita Leah Hensley Baggett

De Rita Leah Hensley Baggett, age 76, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Saturday, August 5th, 2023.  She was better known as Dee by her family and friends and as Dee Dee by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  

Dee was born on December 15, 1946, in Benton, Arkansas, the daughter of Nonnie and Minnie Hensley.  After graduating from Benton High School in 1964, she attended business school where she met the love of her life, Johnny Baggett.  On May 8, 1965, she and Johnny were married and started their new journey in life.  Dee and Johnny moved to Hope, Arkansas, and lived there briefly before settling in Amity, Arkansas, where Dee resided for 56 years.

Before retiring as a homemaker, Dee worked as an office administrator for many well-known businesses in the area; Dr. Keadle’s office, the Glenwood Herald, Amity Drug Store, Barksdale Lumber Company, Curt Bean Lumber Company, and Gildner Ford.  Dee loved playing the piano, was a member of several genealogical societies, and was a long-time member and advocate of Al-Anon.  Dee touched many lives by being recognized as a confidant, therapist, and advocate for hurting people who just needed a funny story to cheer them up.  She was also very passionate about raising awareness surrounding mental health issues in our country long before that was acceptable in society.  Dee was a Christian and a member of Amity First Baptist Church. 

Dee was preceded in death by her husband of 33 years and the love of her life, Johnny Baggett, her loving parents, Nonnie and Minnie Hensley, her biological mom, and husband, Mildred and James (Bud) Thomas, her granddaughter, Brooke Richardson Hatton, her sister, Mary Ellen Ward, her brother, Joe Thomas and her nephew, Tony Sheridan.

She is survived by two daughters, DeLeah Vogt (Husband Terry Vogt) of Porter, Texas, Johnna Lambert (Husband Barry Lambert) of Amity; five grandchildren, Brittany Hemberger (Husband Daniel Hemberger), Jonathan Lambert (Wife Danielle Lambert), Dylan Lambert (Wife Camden Lambert), Jacob Lambert, Shonna Leah Lambert, and Brooke’s surviving husband, JR Hatton; ten great-grandchildren, Rebekah and Isaiah Hemberger, Aria and Archer Lambert, Abigail Hatton, Aubrielle Lambert, Cole and JT Lambert, Ryver Harmon and Cody Hullum; her niece, Tally Murgatroy (Husband Paul Murgatroy); two brothers, Gary Thomas (Wife Barbara Thomas) and Tim Thomas.

Dee is also survived by her 2nd husband, Leo Himmel, of Alabama and his daughter, Victoria Himmel Robison, along with their children and grandchildren.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life gathering on Saturday, September 2nd from 6-8 pm at Amity First Baptist Church located at 218 E. Texas Street, Amity, Arkansas.  Visitation with the family will be from 6 – 7 pm and the service will be from 7 – 8 pm.  Friends and family are also invited to join a small graveside service on the morning of Tuesday, September 5th at 10 am.


Guest registry is at

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Past Services


Saturday, September 2, 2023

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Starts at 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Family Lead Burial

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Jones Cemetery

Amity, AR 71921

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