Stephen Murphy Leining, 64 of Sheffield died Wednesday, January 24th at his home. Stephen was born in Middletown, CT on August 19th, 1953, 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 Mt. Everett High School and graduated from 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, Patrica Leining Riiska and step father David Riiska of Wood River Junction RI, one daughter, Leigha Chaffee of Otis, two sisters, Candice Parsons and husband Mahlon of Sheffield and Kim Leining of Manchester, CT. Two brothers, Michael Leining and wife Carol of New Marlborough and Dana Riiska and wife Laura of St. Petersburgh FL. One brother in law, Edward Truax of Schoharie, N.Y. 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 Reverend 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 Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230. Condolences may be made through birchesroyfuneralservices.com

(above article sent to WSBS from Birches-Roy Funeral Home for online and on air use)