He was born Jan. 28, 1990, in Laguna Beach, where he lived his entire life. He was a kid and a young man . . . all sometimes in equal measure. He was quiet, deep, and strong.
He attended the Montesorri School, St. Catherine’s Catholic School, Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School. He attended Saddleback College and was poised to transfer to UC Irvine next fall. His intended degree was political science. He had discovered a talent for cooking and enjoyed experimenting and cooking for his family.
He was admired for his athletic ability and achieved honors for himself and his team in every sport that he played. He set a city record in the first race he ever ran at 5 years old and likewise took first place in every event he entered. At that age he asked why did he get only blue ribbons when the other kids got other colors too? He played club soccer, Little League baseball, and Pop Warner football. Among many honors, he set the long jump record in 1999 at the Amateur Athletic Foundation Relays at Mt. Sac., was MVP in baseball and football at LBHS, and Orange Coast League’s first team all-league in football.
He loved the outdoors. After hiking many miles with his scout troop, camping, canoeing in the border waters of Canada, skiing, snow boarding, volunteering many hours to the betterment of his community and many other things, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout by organizing, funding and directing a project in the Laguna Wilderness Park.
He experienced many of the early symptoms associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy in athletes. His family has agreed to the donation of his brain tissue to the groundbreaking study of that syndrome at Boston University School of Medicine, Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.
He was loved and he knew it. He will be deeply missed by his parents, Joslyn Aitken and Peter Hands, his brothers Brenton and Gabriel, and sister, Alexandra, as well as his Scout leaders, coaches, team mates, troop mates, family and friends.
Services will take place at Laguna Beach’s St. Catherine Catholic Church, 1042 Temple Terrace, at 11 a.m., Feb. 2. Gathering and celebration of his life will follow at 417 Canyon Acres, Laguna Beach.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations in his honor may be made to: Boston University School of Medicine, Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, 72 E. Concord Street, Suite L219, Boston, Mass. 02118 (Please designate “CSTE Fund– in honor of Devin Hands” on your check or in the online comments section.); or the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America, 1211 East Dyer Road, Santa Ana, CA 92705. (Please indicate that your contribution is in honor of Devin Hands, Eagle Scout, Troop 35.)