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Edward Riiska Jr., 75, of Sandisfield, race driver and highway superintendent

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By Tuesday, Mar 5, 2019 Obituaries

Edward O. Riiska Jr., 75, of New Hartford Road in Sandisfield passed away Friday, March 1, 2019. Born Nov. 11, 1943, in Winsted, Connecticut, he was the son of Edward and Edna Henry Riiska. Ed grew up on a farm in Sandisfield and by his early teens, knew that he loved cars, not cows. He loved both working on cars and racing them. For 30 years he raced at Lebanon Valley Speedway. A well-respected driver known for driving clean, he was proud to mentor new drivers. He loved racing and, even when he retired, he continued as a spectator and supporter.

He worked in a variety of jobs, the longest as Sandisfield highway superintendent for 17 years. He then retired and did roadside mowing for nearby towns until 2018. For leisure he played a competitive 9-5 card game and enjoyed traveling, mostly to casinos with his wife and family.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 56 years, Linda (Goodenough) Riiska; their two daughters, Eve (John) Bannish and Lisa (Ralph) Leavenworth; four granddaughter;s and two great-granddaughters. He is also survived by two brothers: Tom and Gene Riiska; two sisters: Shirley (Carl) McArthur and Maybelle Jacquemin; his nieces; his nephews; and a multitude of loving friends. 

The family of Edward O. Riiska Jr. will receive friends Saturday, March 9, 2019, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. followed by a brief service at 11:30 a.m. at FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME in Great Barrington. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Ed may be made to either HospiceCare in the Berkshires or Smilow Cancer Center in Torrington, Connecticut, through FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230, which is caring for the arrangements. To send remembrances to the family, go to www.finnertyandstevens.com.

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