Grieving 94-Year-Old Builds a Neighborhood Pool to Fill the Silence After Wife's Death

man builds neighborhood pool
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Most of us, especially parents, are almost always on a constant quest to get just a little bit of peace and quiet. From hiding out on the toilet to pretending to take long naps, we'll go to extremes if it means we can get a few minutes alone. One Minnesota man, however, sought to do the exact opposite when he built a swimming pool for his neighbors in an effort to fill the silence brought on by his wife's passing. 


Ninety-four-year-old Keith Davison had been married to his wife Evy for almost 66 years before her battle with cancer ended her life in April of 2016. After her death, Keith came to find that the silence of her absence was just too much to bear. 

"You just can't imagine what it's like," he told local news station KPNX. "You cry a lot. But that's just the way it is, because she's not here." 

In spring of 2017, around the one-year anniversary of Evy's death, Keith took action to fill the silence in his life by building an in-ground pool for his neighbors in his own backyard. 

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Together, Keith and Evy had three adult children but no grandkids. "I knew they'd come," Keith said, referring to the neighborhood kids who flocked to his yard during the summer to make use of the swimming pool.

Keith's pool is a lot more than your average backyard swimming hole. It's 32 feet long and maxes out at 9 feet deep under the installed diving board. And, in an area with no public pools, it means a lot to both children and parents. 

"It's him spreading joy throughout our neighborhood for these kids," neighborhood mom Jessica Huebner told KPNX. 

Keith has, of course, insisted on a few rules to ensure that the children can enjoy their time in the pool safely. He requires that all kids be accompanied by a parent or grandparent when swimming, even at times when he is present. 

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"I'm not sitting by myself looking at the walls," he said. "What else would you think of doing where you could have a whole bunch of kids over every afternoon?"

Keith Davison's act of kindness is one that we can all stop and admire. He has shown us that there are countless ways to deal with our grief, many of them even serving as a tool to help others.

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