Mary Catherine McVay

Mary Catherine McVay

Mary Catherine McVay, 94, of Sutherland, died Feb.13, 2020, at the Sutherland Care Center.

Mary was born May 10, 1925, to Patrick Edward and Isabella Elizabeth (Willmes) Priel in Sutherland, where she grew up. By her junior year the family moved to Kearney, where Mary finished her schooling, graduating from Kearney High School in 1944. She then went to work for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company and later married Wesley Van Vleet Jr. in Kearney.

In 1958, Wesley and Mary moved to Sutherland and bought the Longhorn Bar. A few years later they sold the bar and divorced. She married Bob Bryant in 1962. After Bob died, Mary married Robert McVay.

Mary continued to own several businesses in town, including the Deluxe Cafe, Rodeo Bar and Conoco Café. She eventually started the Sutherland Senior Center. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Bob Bryant; parents, Patrick and Isabella Priel; son, Ken Van Vleet; daughter, Patricia Van Vleet Greene; sister, Peggy Fleecs; brother Leonard “Bud” Priel; and granddaughters, Katie Kennedy and Summer Greene.

Mary is survived by her children, Morris (Ruth Ann) Van Vleet of Kearney, Ray (Laura) Bryant of Mitchell, South Dakota, Clyde (Sheri) Bryant of Ogallala, Virginia Fear and Annette (Larry) Kennedy of Sutherland;

grandchildren, Kelli (Aaron) Van Vleet-Pleskac, Kyle (Melanie) Van Vleet, Marlo Roberts, Candace (Andy) Scott, Marty Fear, Sean (Adrienne) Kennedy, Sarah (Ben) Rivera and Makenna Bryant; 11 great-grandchildren; great-great-grandson; sister-in-law, Betty Priel of North Platte; brother-in-law, Don Fleecs of Sutherland; and other family.

Online condolences may be shared at In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Sutherland American Legion Auxiliary.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in Sutherland, with celebrant Father Sagar officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery, south of Sutherland. Rosary will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Visitation will be prior to the services at the church. Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore is in charge of arrangements.

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