Celebrating life stories...



Memorial created 05-8-2009 by
Judy Heidel
Brandon Cole Heidel
July 23 1991 - February 8 2009

Loving son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend

This online memorial was created in loving memory of my son, Brandon Heidel, whose life story is told throughout this memorial website. Please sign Brandon's guest book and let us know you came to visit. We will remember Brandon forever.

Brandon died Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009, of injuries he received in an automobile accident.

He was born July 23, 1991, in Salina, Kan., to Anthony and Judy (McDaniel) Heidel. He moved with his family to Gillette in 2000. He attended Rozet Elementary, Twin Spruce Junior High, Moorcroft Junior-Senior High and was a senior at Campbell County High School.

He was looking forward to working toward a career in law enforcement after his graduation in May. He had previously worked at Wal-Mart and Kmart, but his easy-going and patient personality made him a great match for kids and brought him to his current job at the Boys & Girls Club. He was also a referee at the Campbell County Rec Center and enjoyed coaching young children.

Brandon was a very social person and felt comfortable visiting with anyone, whether it be an adult, child or friend, he enjoyed the conversation. He liked school, not so much for the academics, but for the people he attended with. Brandon loved baseball and playing basketball with his dad.

He was a member of the New Life Wesleyan Church. He will be remembered for his happy demeanor, beautiful smile, and ability to be his own person, not caring what others thought as long as he was having a good time, as well as a loving brother.

He is survived by his parents of Gillette; sisters, Jade Heidel of Gillette, and Chelsey Kincaid, Megan Kincaid Heidel and Kourtney Kincaid, all of Assaria, Kan.; grandparents, Joyce and Keith Tannehill of Assaria, Sarah and Gary Stroede of Salina, Dennis McDaniel of Gillette, Dan and Janet Bowen of Puerto Rico and Pat and Dan Eberhart of Salina; great-grandparents, Minnie Stroede of Salina and Esther Bowen of Goessel, Kan.

He was preceded death by his great-grandparents, Bill and Elsie Gott, Lillian Stenzel and George C. Heidel.




 Brandon was looking forward to starting a career in law enforcement after graduation and so he signed up for the ride along program.  He had previously spoke with the Detention Center and was trying to decide between the Police Department and the Sheriff Department.  Little did we know that the first ride-along would also be his last.  He met the officer on Saturday and was so excited to go out.  I knew the officers shift was 6 pm to 6 am and that Brandon would want to stay until the end.  We sat with him at the police station waiting for the officer to arrive.  He was running a little late so we told Brandon to be careful and that we loved him, gave him a hug and left, never thinking for a moment that it would be the last hug I would get.  My husband and I went to dinner and a movie and everything seemed so great.  Ironically the movie that we saw was "Taken".   When we left the movie we came to a lighted intersection.  I saw a vehicle coming up on the left and said to my husband, "wouldn't it be funny if it was Brandon in the patrol car".  Sure enough, as the police car passed us, our son turned toward us and was smiling.  That would be the most precious smile I ever saw and it would also be our last to see on his beautiful face.  We didn't know if he saw us or not and thought, what are the odds.  I remember waking up at 1:30 am and convinced myself not to call Brandon and interupt the ride-along.  He was always saying "Don't worry mom".  I did not know that Brandon had left the police station at 1:00 a.m. and headed home.  Morning came and so did the knock at the door.  The roads had become slick by the time he left town and as he headed home, he lost control of his car.   He died instantly.  The officer that he rode with called us after he had heard the news.  He had only met Brandon once but that was all it took to make another friend.  Officer English talked to my husband about their night together and when my husband asked if he saw us at that intersection, he responded "yes".  Brandon said "hey there's my parents."   











Prom 2008


Brandon said that he had the best time at prom his junior year.  I never would have imagined that it would be his only one. 



Beginning of eleventh grade

Every year since kindergarten, Brandon would gladly amuse me by showing what grade he was going into on his first day of school.  I didn't realize until recently that I didn't get his photo for his senior year on the first day of school.   


Hawiian Day at Boys and Girls Club

Brandon loved life and was always looking for ways to make people smile.  He wore this crazy outfit to work at the Boys and Girls Club and hula-hooped with all the kids.  The kids loved him and Brandon loved them right back.  He was just a big kid himself.  He taught the kids that life was fun and that it was ok to laugh at yourself.  He talked to the kids and provided a big brother shoulder for them.  He is missed by all.


Our favorite spot to go before Christmas

Hugging my children was always the greatest feeling in the world.


The Heidel Family

As a family, we were strong and solid.  Now that Brandon is gone, it is so off balance.  He is so missed by family and friends, his beautiful smile and bright eyes made everyone feel at ease and loved.  His arms were always ready for a hug.  He was everything a mother could ask for in a son.  




 Our family is grateful that Brandon's friends have remained such a big part of our lives.  Ashley and Brandon were dating at the time of the accident and she has continued to be a part of our lives.  I'm not sure if these kids all know how much they really mean to us.  Watching them grow and move forward in life is both hard and exciting at the same time.  I know that Brandon only wanted the best for his friends and I smile every time one of them tells me something great in their lives because I know that Brandon is smiling too.






This is Lindsay Norris, a good friend of Brandon's, who has become a part of our family.  She has been there from day one to help with our sorrow and taken on a big sister role to Brandons sister, Jade.   We are so very blessed to have her in our life.


Stephen, Josh, Brandon and David in Sturgis

When the guys would get together there was nothing but fun.  Stephen, Josh and David continue to hang around our family when they can.  When they - and other friends- come over they bring that laughter back that only they can do.

Brandon and Ashley goofing around

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