When some of us imagine elderly folk, we think of them yelling at children to quit that racket and get off their lawns. But not Keith Davison.
The 94-year-old was sick of the quiet that occurred in his home after the death of his wife of 66-years. So, he decided to turn his backyard into an in-ground pool for the children in the neighborhood.
“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.”
Davison said he didn’t want to live a life of loneliness.
“You just can’t imagine what it’s like,” said Davison of life without his wife who died of cancer. “You cry a lot. That’s just the way it is because she’s not here.”
Davison figured that if he built it, the neighborhood would come. His neighbors thought he was just joking when he said he wanted to build a pool, but Davison was not.
“This spring when I saw him marking the yard, I told my husband, he’s really going to put a pool in his backyard,” neighbor Jessica Huebner told KARE 11.
Now Huebner and her four children often frequent the new local pool.
“It’s him spreading joy throughout our neighborhood for these kids,” she said.
Davison ended up building a 32-foot long and 9-feet deep pool with a diving board. It’s extra special to his neighbors because their town doesn’t have a public pool. No child is allowed at the pool without a parent or grandparent present.
“Now we’re going to be here every day,” said neighbor Jaime Mundal. “You kind of adopted our whole neighborhood of kids, these are your grandkids.”
Davison is overjoyed with the new company. He often sits in the shade near the pool watching all the fun that everyone is having around him.
Once the kids go home, he’ll often take a dip in the pool by himself. Davison admits building such a large pool didn’t make economic sense for a 94-year-old, but his efforts are worth it.
“I’m not sitting by myself looking at the walls,” Davison explains. “What else would you think of doing where you could have a whole bunch of kids over every afternoon.”
To show her gratitude, Huebner says she often brings Davison cookies and home-cooked meals.
“He put this in for us and our children, in return we can do more to visit with him,” she tells PEOPLE. “That’s what he wants, he wants to connect with the kids.”
Davison says he thinks his wife Evy would be happy to see all the fun their neighborhood is having in their backyard.