Kate Nuber McVey, 72 years old, died early Monday morning, Sept. 9, 2019, a week after a massive stroke at her home in Kyle, Texas. She was a loving and courageous daughter, sister, mother, wife and grandmother, as well as a journalist, editor and publisher. She met life head on every day and she, “ate what was set before her.”
A statement from the family said, “She lived a good life, met every challenge with courage and an indomitable will. She did what she believed was the right thing every time and never complained once about the way things turned out. Whatever comes after this life, she will make the best of it.”
Born on May 25, 1947, in Detroit, Michigan to Carroll (C.L.) Stamm and Elizabeth (Betty) Stamm (nee Nuber), Kate grew up in and loved Detroit for its diversity. She moved to Holland, Michigan with her family when she was 15, graduating from Holland High School in 1965.
In Holland she had a high school job in journalism at the Holland Sentinel newspaper, sparking a life as a reporter, photographer, editor, publisher and communications professional.
She attended Aquinas College in East Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1965 and later married Jerry Lee Riemersma on February 24, 1968. She continued her education all her life including Michigan State University, St. Edward’s University and Austin Community College.
When her husband joined the U.S. Army she embraced the role of the military wife and for 15 years lived in such diverse postings as Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Riley, Kansas where her first son, Jeffrey Lee Riemersma, was born on December 2, 1968; Junction City, Kansas; Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii; Camp Walker, Taegu, South Korea; Fort Benning, Georgia where her second son, Matthew Kirk Riemersma was born June 29, 1975; Fort Hood, Texas; Lucius D. Clay Kaserne, Garlstedt and Osterholz-Scharmbeck, West Germany; and Austin, Texas.
During her military years she worked for various base newspapers and was an overseas reporter for various U.S. publications including the Austin American Statesman.
After a divorce from Jerry Lee Riemersma in March 1983, she changed her legal name to Kate Stamm Nuber, saying a new life deserved a new name.
Kate was the managing editor of the Lake Travis View Newspaper when she married Robert M. (Bob) McVey on December 29, 1990, and became Kate Nuber McVey. She moved to Zapata, Texas where her blended family included Bob’s son, Robert Richard McVey and his previous mother-in-law Ruth Eileen Holm Brown.
She also became the co-publisher/co-owner of the Zapata County News and the Hebbronville View, taking part in aggressive reporting and exposés on local elections and government operations as the managing editor. She was particularly proud of her service on the planning board for the new Zapata High School where she pushed hard, and won, addition of a full theater with professional stage and theatre seating for the local drama department.
Her earliest memories were from when her parents took her to the Detroit Public Library when she was four or five.
In her memoires she writes, “In Detroit, then, you had to be seven before you could receive a library card. When my parents first took me, I had to read the books either in the library or ask my mother to sign one out for me – and the library had a five book maximum. On my seventh birthday, all I wanted was my own library card. I was so proud when my parents took me into the library and let me sign up for one.”
About her early childhood, she writes, “I darted between playing dress-up with a box of my mother’s and aunt’s old clothes and being a tom boy. The tom boy won.” While she could never be on the team, she played basketball with the varsity boys during physical education in high school.
As a Catholic, she attended St. Margaret Mary School until sixth grade and showed an early talent for questioning the status quo when her mother was called because, “I was reading a book that I shouldn’t have reading in school (either Frankenstein by Mary Shelley or Dracula by Bram Stoker, in fifth grade).
In her military life years, she was told by an Army General that she could not take both her children on the transfer flight to Germany. She felt he was still angry about a story she had written about the base operations, so she offered him her three-year-old and said, “Then you can keep this one and I will take my older son to his father in Germany.” She said he made a battlefield decision and when the plane took off all three were seated and the general stayed behind.
In talking about her history, she said she always liked to dance and she sometimes danced on tables.
Her professional experience included:
Texas Association of Builders, Director of Communications
Austin Business Journal, Focus Editor
Zapata County News, Managing Editor/Co-Publisher
Lake Travis View, Managing Editor
Oil Field Haulers Association, Director of Communications
Texas Safety Association, Public Information Specialist
ROLM Corporation, Administrative Assistant/Editor
Copperas Cove Leader, News Reporter
KIXS Radio Station, Radio News Reporter
Austin American-Statesman, Freelance Reporter/Correspondent
Harker Heights American, News Reporter
Kate received numerous professional awards, including:
AEA National Award, 2004 – First Place – Best Communication to Members Magazines for the Texas Association of Builders.
National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest, 1993- -First Place, Herrick Editorial Award
IABC – International Association of Business Communicators, 1988 – First Place, Gold Quill Award, Programs and Campaigns.
She is survived by her husband, Robert M. (Bob) McVey of Kyle; two brothers, John Stamm (and wife Patricia) of Grandville, Michigan and Michael Stamm of Austin, Texas; three sons, Jeffrey Reimersma (and wife Luisa) of Weslaco, Texas; Matthew Reimersma (and wife Alison) of Austin, Texas and Robert McVey of Kyle, Texas; two grandchildren, Joshua Reimersma and Lia Reimersma of Weslaco, Texas; nephew Andrew Stamm and niece Audrey Stamm and of Grandville, Michigan, nephew Alexander Stamm of Austin, Texas; and a great nephew, Ian Stamm of Grandville.