When Evy Davison passed away from cancer in April 2016, Keith, her husband of 66 years, could not get used to living in silence and being alone. “You just can’t imagine what it’s like,” the 94-year-old says. “You cry a lot. That’s just the way it is because she’s not here.” So the retired judge from Morris, Minnesota decided to install a swimming pool in his backyard, and now he has so many visitors that his house is never quiet!
The pool, which measures 16ft (4.9m) by 32ft (9.8m), was installed earlier this year before the kindly nonagenarian unveiled it to the neighborhood kids in July. Davison has three adult children but no grandchildren, however a neighbor of his recently told him, “you kind of adopted our whole neighborhood of kids. These are your grandchildren.”
The former judge, too, enjoys a swim once in a while… in the rare moments that he finds the pool unoccupied!
“I had a fairytale life, and after my wife died, that ended,” Davison told PEOPLE. “You get used to having a person there to enjoy, and now this doggone place is just so quiet. The pool has been a diversion from that.”
The only requirement for a child to use the pool is to be supervised by an adult. In addition to the children having fun, the addition of the facility has proven to be a great way for the adults in the community to reconnect or get to know each other.
On of Davison’s neighbors, 36-year-old Jessica Huebner who lives directly in front of the former judge and whose four children are regular visitors to his yard, says the 94-year-old never sought notoriety for building the pool – he just wanted a place for the neighborhood to have fun.
“It’s about spreading joy and happiness to our neighborhood and these children because he sees them as the face of the future,” Huebner says. “He is just a very humble and kind man.”
Huebner told People how she regularly brings cookies and home-cooked meals to Davison to show her appreciation for what he has done. “He put this in for us and our children, in return we can do more to visit with him,” she says of the man who regularly comes out to talk and laugh with them as the children play.
Watch the wonderful video of Judge Davison’s wonderful backyard pool in Morris, Minnesota and the incredible atmosphere of solidarity he has created.