Acts of Kindness
Lonely 94-year-old builds pool in his backyard to attract neighborhood kids to his home
After losing his wife Keith Davison came up with a way to fill the emptiness he felt being at home alone and it got the entire neighborhood talking.
Rebecca Reid
08.03.21

Four years after installing a pool in his backyard for the neighborhood children, 94-year-old retired judge, Keith Davison is still enjoying the sounds of laughter and children playing.

Davison decided to put in a pool four years ago after his life had become a little too quiet. Davison lost his wife, Evy, to cancer in 2016 after being married for 66 years. Her death was understandably difficult for Keith and left an unbearable emptiness in his life.

YouTube screenshot - NBC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - NBC News

“You just can’t imagine what it’s like. You cry a lot. That’s just the way it is because she’s not here.” – Davison

Even though many people crave serenity and peace in their later years, Davison knew he had had enough. He decided to put in a 32 ft long, 9ft deep, in-ground pool complete with a diving board. Most of his neighbors thought Davison was joking when they caught wind of the plan.

YouTube screenshot - NBC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - NBC News

“This spring when I saw him marking the yard, I told my husband, he’s really going to put a pool in his backyard.” – Jessica Huebner

YouTube screenshot - NBC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - NBC News

The neighborhood kids started coming by…just like he knew they would. In a town that didn’t have an outdoor public pool, Davison’s new addition was like a gift to the kids in his neighborhood.

YouTube screenshot - NBC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - NBC News

Davison’s story has touched many people in his community.

“It’s him spreading joy throughout our neighborhood for these kids” – Huebner says.

“Now we’re going to be here every day” – Jaime Mundal, a neighborhood mom.

YouTube screenshot - NBC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - NBC News

When Davison told his neighbors that he didn’t have any grandchildren, Huebner replied with “You kind of adopted our whole neighborhood of kids, these are your grandkids.”

YouTube screenshot - NBC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - NBC News

4 years later, Davison is still enjoying his days poolside listening to the giggles and splashing all around him.

Davison realizes that installing a pool may not be the most sensible thing to do at his age but that’s not why he did it. It may have been a good thing for the neighborhood but it was a great thing for Davison.

YouTube screenshot - NBC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - NBC News

“I’m not sitting by myself looking at the walls. Besides, what else would you think of doing where you could have a whole bunch of kids over every afternoon?” – Davison

When the kids go home for the day, Keith has been known to take a dip of his own here and there. His rules for the kids are simple – bring a parent or grandparent while you swim. We are pretty certain the number one rule is to have fun and enjoy life…which is exactly what Davison has been able to do.

The neighbor kids grow up swimming in Keith’s pool.

After four years, many of the kids have grown up right in front of Davison’s eyes. Because of him, the neighbor kids have been able to make lasting memories and friendships while keeping their “adopted grandpa” company.

YouTube screenshot - NBC News
Source:
YouTube screenshot - NBC News

Now watch the video of Davison’s selfless and heartfelt gift to the kids in his neighborhood.

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By Rebecca Reid
hi@sbly.com
Rebecca Reid is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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