BEL-NOR, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Joe Hough had found a job he loved. As a groundskeeper at Normandie Golf Club, he had spent his two months of employment outside in the fresh air, saving up for a house.
He was set to buy the home in August, and with his fiance and 14-year-old son, move in just after his 37th birthday.
But July 23, the unthinkable happened.
Hough was driving a tractor on the course when it overturned.
"I wouldn’t wish that day on anybody, it was pretty bad," said Jon Richert, his brother-in-law.
Hough was pinned beneath the tractor, which overturned near a creek, and was unable to escape before he drowned, according to Richert.
"It’s a fluke thing, you just never expect something like this to happen," Richert said.
Richert had just recently celebrated the Blues' first Stanley Cup win with Hough, something he had waited his entire life for.
"It was a big deal to him," Richert said. "Tears of joy, they were just so excited."
Hough was described as having a big sense of humor, and someone who knew how to celebrate life and his loved ones.
"He put family first and worked to support his family," Richert said. "He was like the little brother I never had."
In the wake of his death, his loved ones hang onto the memories they shared with Hough. Especially the ones that were once-in-a-lifetime, like watching him celebrate his favorite team's first championship.
"It was just cool to see some of that happen before he passed," Richert said.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Hough family with funeral expenses.