Stephen Murphy Leining, 64, of Sheffield, died Wednesday Jan. 24, 2018, at his home.
Stephen was born Aug. 19, 1953, in Middletown, Connecticut, the son of Paul and Patricia Leining Riiska. As a young boy, Stephen was very involved in the Berkshire County 4-H program. Initially he attended Mount Everett High School and graduated from the Monument Mountain Regional High School class of 1971. Stephen was an entrepreneur. He worked in forestry, then started and successfully ran an agricultural recycling operation at the north end of Sheffield. He was also very involved in his community and his absence will be noted. Stephen served as an alternate on the Zoning Board of Appeals and was involved in the search committee to locate a school superintendent for Sheffield. Stephen loved his animals, raising chickens, pigs, cattle, a donkey (Pepe) and a set of oxen (Louis and Clark).
Stephen is survived by his mother, Patricia Leining Riiska, and stepfather, David Riiska, of Wood River Junction, Rhode Island; one daughter: Leigha Chaffee of Otis; two sisters: Candice Parsons and husband Mahlon of Sheffield and Kim Leining of Manchester, Connecticut; two brothers: Michael Leining and wife Carol of New Marlborough and Dana Riiska and wife Laura of St. Petersburg, Florida; one brother-in-law: Edward Truax of Schoharie, New York; one grandson: Kane Chaffee; and six nieces and nephews: Micah Leining, Careth Leining, Caleb Parsons, Noah Parsons, Rachel Riiska and Andrew Riiska. Stephen was predeceased by his father, Paul Leining; and sister Rev. Kay Truax. His presence will be sorely missed within the family.
A memorial service for Stephen Murphy Leining will be held at a later time to be announced. There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in Stephen’s memory may be made to the Shriner’s Hospital in care of BIRCHES-ROY FUNERAL HOME, 33 South St. Great Barrington, MA 01230. Condolences may be made through birchesroyfuneralservices.com.