LEE, Maine — Memorializing the death of a young man is usually a somber, if not heart-rending affair, but Michael Leslie Severance was a purposeful, patriotic man who also knew how to have fun, his father said.
So it is in that spirit that the Severance family, friends and others from the Lincoln Lakes region will hold their annual BYOB dance at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Lincoln at 8 tonight to honor the memory of the 24-year-old Air Force staff sergeant who was slain in San Angelo, Texas, in 2005.
“It’s a good way to remember Michael,” Les Severance said Friday. “It’s our fourth annual scholarship dance, and it’s the spring of the year and it’s a good time to get out.”
“It’s a blast,” said Frank Severance, Les’ son and Michael’s younger brother.
“We look forward to it every year. We do it mainly for the community,” he added. “It’s kind of our way of saying thank you for all the support we have gotten. Everybody we talk to looks forward to it.”
Michael Severance’s wife, veterinarian Wendi Davidson, pleaded no contest in October 2006 to charges that she poisoned her husband of four months on Jan. 15, 2005, with drugs used to euthanize animals, weighed his body down with car parts and cinder blocks and dumped it in a pond owned by Terrell Sheen, a Davidson family friend.
Severance’s body was stabbed 41 times after death to keep it underwater.
Davidson took a deal to serve a 25-year sentence on a murder charge and two concurrent 10-year sentences on two evidence-tampering charges. She remains incarcerated in a Texas prison.
Dance proceeds will fund a college or vocational training school scholarship — a reflection of Severance’s aptitude at mechanics and industrial arts — for a Lee Academy student. Past dances have filled the hall, drawing about 250 people, and raised $800 to $1,200 after expenses, Les Severance said.
“I would tell people to be there at 7 [p.m.] if they want to get a table,” Severance said. “It was packed last year, and I don’t have any reasons to believe that it won’t be this year.”
“For some reason, people really seem to like us. Either that or they really like to drink,” Frank Severance joked.
Door prizes will also be given out, Frank Severance said.