IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

94-year-old retired judge builds pool for neighborhood kids after his wife dies

A retired Minnesota judge mourning the death of his wife of 65 years decided to build a pool in his backyard for neighborhood kids to enjoy.
/ Source: TODAY

In the year following the death of his wife of 65 years, Keith Davison, 94, struggled with the silence in his home.

The retired judge from Morris, Minnesota, decided to bring some laughter and smiles into his life by building an in-ground pool in his backyard in July and inviting the neighborhood kids for a summer-long pool party.

"I'm not sitting by myself looking at the walls," Davison told NBC affiliate KARE 11.

Davison's wife, Evelyn "Evy" Davison, died of cancer in April 2016 at 90 years old, just four days before their 66th wedding anniversary.

"You just can’t imagine what it's like,'' Davison said. "You cry a lot. That's just the way it is, because she's not here."

Now his backyard is filled with the squeals and laughter of kids enjoying their summer with a dip in the pool. Davison mandates that they have to be accompanied by a parent or grandparent in order to take a swim in the 32-foot pool, which has a diving board and a 9-foot deep end.

He also often hops in the pool himself for a swim after the kids go home.

Davison, who has a daughter and two sons but no grandchildren, has become somewhat of a surrogate grandfather to the local kids.

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

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.