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Keith McVay

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Keith McVay

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Keith ‘Mac” McVay, 63, of Marion, S.D., passed away on Feb. 17, 2018 at his home in Marion. Mass of Christian burial was held Friday, Feb. 23 at St. Christina Catholic Church in Parker, S.D.

Mac was born on Sept. 20, 1954 in Rapid City, S.D., to Charles and Margie McVay. He graduated from Ethan High School in 1972. Mac went to Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D., to obtain his B.S. degree in education. In 1991, he received his master’s degree in educational administration from the University of South Dakota and his specialist degree in 1994. 

Mac was united in marriage to Rita Robbins on Aug. 29, 1980 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Marion. This union was blessed with five children.: Jerad, Tyler, Dustin, Tera and Connor McVay. Mac was a member of St. Mary’s and St. Christina’s Catholic Church. 

Mac spent 41 years in education. Beginning in 1976, Mac taught school in Kimball, Montrose, and Marion. He served as elementary principal at Harding County from 1991 to 1994, and was Superintendent at Faulkton in 1994. In 1995, he was named superintendent/elementary principal at the Marion school. 

Highlights during his years at the Marion school included starting the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) organization, receiving recognition as a “Distinguished District” in the area of academics and earning the “Golden Apple” Achievement Award for service learning projects. Mac was named Educational Administrator of the Year in 2006.

Mac also served as a coach for girls track, girls and boys basketball, as well as junior high football. When he was not coaching, Mac could be found refereeing football, track and basketball. In 1990 Mac and his football officiating crew refereed the Class 9A State Championship Game at the DakotaDome. Mac was the meet referee at the State Class AA Track Meet and served as meet starter at State Track meets in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2005 Mac was named South Dakota’s Official of the Year for officiating sports for 30 years. He remained a certified official until his passing. Mac was proud to have his son, Tyler, join his officiating crew in 2004. 

In 2005 Mac was ready for a new challenge; he took the next 10 years of his education profession in another direction, by working on the Standing Rock Reservation and Cheyenne River Reservation. He spent five years in Wakpala, two years in McLaughlin, and three years in Takini. Mac was a presenter at the South Dakota Native American Education Conference in 2008 and at the Lakota Nation Education Conference in 2010. Mac believed his work on the reservations to be some of his most rewarding work. 

Mac taught swimming lessons in Marion for eight years, ran Mac’s Munchies Concessions at Thunder Valley Drag Ways for eight summers, spent many summers umpiring for the summer rec. programs and owned and operated Mac’s Diner for one year in Marion as he tried out retirement. 

Mac touched lives wherever he went in whatever he did, impacting students, athletes, colleagues and community members. If you knew Mac, you experienced his generous heart. Mac’s greatest joy was his family. He enjoyed family game nights, playing pinochle, watching the Chicago Bears, fantasy football  and trips to Kansas.

Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Rita and five children: Jerad (Kelsey) of Sioux Falls, S.D., with grandchildren Broxsen and Colee, Tyler (Nicki) of Sioux Falls with grandchildren Avery, Arya and Kierian, Dustin of Hartford, Tera and special friend Austin Smidt of Freeman, and Connor and his fiancée Erica Schoenwald of Pierre; a brother Richard McVay of San Jacinto, Calif.; several nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends. 

Mac was preceded in death by his parents, step-mother Darlene McVay, and one brother, Stephan McVay.