Man Who Fell from Water Tower Remembered in Mount Vernon

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - It's been nearly two months since an Eastern Iowa man died after falling from a water tower in Mount Vernon. Though he called Clinton home, Mount Vernon residents, family and friends gathered Saturday at a benefit in his honor.

Those who knew 29-year-old Winfred Davis best call him a charming man, and a loving father.

"He had two beautiful children, a daughter and a son. He was very, very family oriented. And had so many friends," said Davis' mother, Victoria Houston.

Houston said her son was also a dedicated employee, who often held challenging jobs that put him in harm's way.

"Although he had dangerous jobs in his young life, he still didn't have a lot of complaints," she said.

August 1st, Davis was doing one of those dangerous jobs-- working with a painting crew on the top of a water tower in Mount Vernon's Memorial Park. Though authorities said he was wearing safety equipment, something went wrong and Davis fell to his death.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA is investigating the incident to find out how it happened.

Organizers at Davis' Saturday benefit said they hold the backyard music fest annually, but this year, wanted to make it special and let family know Mount Vernon cares.

"We really didn't want it to be a place that his family thought of as this terrible place where their relative died. We just felt like there could be some good that came out of this," said Stephanie West, who was hosting the event out of her home on Hillcrest Heights Lane.

West said their goal was to raise $1,500 for a memorial bench to be placed in the park where Davis fell.

Katherine Kennedy is a member of a local band, James Kennedy and Friends, that played at the event. She said it was a chance to debut their latest song dedicated to Davis, entitled "For Winfred."

"I hope it gives them a sense of a person still being with you, even though they're in heaven. When they're not with you, they're still in your heart," said Kennedy.

It was a lot for family members to take in. Davis' mother said the help left her nearly speechless.

"It's so wonderful, the people of Mount Vernon; I can't even express the words. They've been so there for us and we appreciate it all," said Houston.

Organizers said any money raised over their $1,500 goal will go to help Davis' children.
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