‘It doesn’t feel real’: Family of Edgerton man killed in accident remembers him as loving, devoted

Friends and family of Brandon Clift say they’ll always remember him as hardworking and devoted, but always the first to crack a joke.

On Sept. 8, Clift died at the age of 30 after being attacked by bees during an excavation project, causing him to lose control of his own machine.

“It just felt like it wasn’t real. It still hasn’t sunk in. It still doesn’t feel real,” said Brandon’s wife, Nicole Clift.

Less than two weeks prior, Nicole and Brandon had welcomed their first child, a baby girl, into the world.

“The day she was born, I’ll never forget. We were both very nervous,” said Nicole Clift. “When we first heard her cry, I looked at him and I said, ‘We did it’, and he said ‘You did it’.”

Family was always first for Brandon, said his brother Matt.

“He wanted his family more than anything,” Matt Clift said. “It was something he wanted so much.”

“He would go on and on about how perfect she was,” said Nicole Clift. “He’d stare at her and say, ‘Isn’t she perfect?’ I’d say, ‘Yes Brandon, she’s perfect’.”

Nicole and Brandon had met years before, after being set up by a friend.

“The first thing I noticed was his smile,” she said. “And how good looking he was. He made me nervous when I first met him.”

Nicole quickly learned Brandon’s sense of humor as well.

“It was our first date, and he decided to tell me that he was Amish,” she said. “That he used some electronics, but he rode around on a horse.”

His humor was second only to his work ethic, Nicole said. Brandon had started his own excavation business, which his wife said he only became more devoted to growing when she became pregnant.

“It was like tunnel vision for him. He had a goal, and he was going after it,” she said. “He would put 14 or 15 hours in a day, just trying to get everything going. He made sure he was doing a good job at it.”

Nine days later, the reality has yet to fully set in.

“I kept just waiting for him to call or walk through the door,” she said. “I didn’t want to believe it was him.”

Friends and family have set up a donation for the Clift family. You can find a link to it here.

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