Kylee Deck didn’t realize just how loved her younger brother Devin was until she looked online after he passed away.
“People always tell me he was one of their most favourite persons ever,” said Kylee. “I already knew that he had a lot of friends and everybody knew him.
“To see it on Facebook, usually people comment like, ‘sorry for your loss.’ For each one to write a big paragraph or the amount of people who reached out to me that just said, ‘I don’t even know who you are, but I felt compelled to tell you this’ or how ‘Devin helped me out this way or this funny time.’ It is not just young friends who are impacted, but the families of people that have just kind of adopted him almost from him being around so often.
“He’d always take the time to see everybody when he’d come back home. Even if you hadn’t seen him for five years, you’d run into him and you would never know it had been that long.”
Devin died Oct. 10, just 13 days before his 25th birthday, after the ATV he was driving collided with a passenger car on Highway 48 near the intersection of the 620 grid road west of Vibank.
Speaking to The Quad Town Forum a week after the accident, Kylee said Devin’s passing still didn’t seem real to her.
She said the siblings were really close growing up together in Vibank and through their young adult lives. Both played hockey, with Devin taking his career to the under-18 AAA ranks with the Swift Current Legionnaires in 2012-13 for his 17-year-old season.
While they often lived in different centres as young adults, they constantly went on adventures together. (Kylee has lived just outside of Edmonton for a number of years, while Devin — who still owned a house in Vibank that he was renting out — had been working out in Eston continuing a career on the pipelines.)
There would be trips to Las Vegas, New York City or the mountains. Sometimes the adventures could include biking in locations near where they lived, or just doing something off-the-wall that Kylee said was usually Devin’s idea.
A lot of the time, Kylee added, the adventures had a spontaneous and humourous aspect to them that came from Devin’s mind. His friends, she said, had similar experiences.
“You will never meet another kid like him,” said Kylee. “He will make the person that is the most hating of life and hates all people, and he will get his way in there and have that person laughing and having a good time.
“The stuff that would come out of his mouth, he would have a quick one-liner or something that he would pick up from who knows where. You literally never knew what he was going to say.”
Mark Johnson met Devin through Kylee and ultimately became one of Devin’s many best friends. Johnson said Devin would do something random for a laugh on a near-daily basis.
“He was always just so funny and just so outgoing,” said Johnson. “I don’t even know how to describe it to be honest. He was kind of a tough one to describe, because he was just so goofy. He was just Devin. He is going to be missed big time by everybody everywhere by whoever knew him.”
During Devin’s days in Swift Current, his fun-loving side also made an impression on then-Legionnaires head coach Dale Vossen. The Legionnaires would often practice at 7:30 or 8 a.m. and Vossen said Devin would arrive wearing his pyjamas.
On the ice, Vossen remembered Devin as a speedy, high-energy player. Devin recorded eight goals and nine assists in 26 regular season games with the Legionnaires in 2012-13, missing a number of games that season due to a concussion.
His character also shone through though, Vossen said, recalling the many times Vossen said he would be sharpening his players’ skates during the day at the rink and hear a knock at the door.
“I’d go open the door, and there was Devin Deck standing there with two coffees, one for me and one for him,” said Vossen. He’d come in and he would sit on the trainer’s table, and I would sharpen skates. We’d sit and talk for an hour at a time.”
That became a tradition for player and coach for that season. Devin would phone Vossen to see if he was at the rink sharpening skates, come down with coffee, and they would visit talking about all sorts of subjects.
One Vossen said Devin talked about often was his love for his mother, Joanne (who passed away in 2018).
“Devin was probably one of my favourite three players that I’ve coached — and I’ve been around a long time — just because of who he was,” said Vossen. “It (Devin’s passing) is like losing a kid. I lost my nephew here back last August. You get kicked in the stomach pretty hard, and it takes a while for you to recover from it. Devin is no different.”
Kylee said she loved every moment she got to spend with Devin, and is proud to know her brother had a positive impact with so many of the people he met.
“He always brought people together,” said Kylee. “He always made everyone feel special.
“He was the most carefree person you would ever meet.”