Obituary of Stephen Murphy Leining

Stephen Leining 001

Stephen Murphy Leining, 64 of Sheffield died Wednesday January 24, 2018 at his home. Stephen was born in Middletown CT on August 19, 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, Patricia 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 on February 24 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the Sheffield American Legion in Sheffield MA. 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

11 Responses to Obituary of Stephen Murphy Leining

  1. Dear Candice and family,
    My sincere condolences to you all upon hearing of Stephen’s passing. His soul and personality was always on display through his beaming smile. May he rest in peace now in that better place. God Bless him, and may God Bless your family.

    • I am sorry to learn of Steve;s passing. I will always remember his fine sense of humor. Steve was a great guy.

  2. Ihave known Steve for over 45 years, a great sense of humor, a smile that made his eyes twinkle,and a bear hug like no other.
    Steve was a lover of Mother Earth with his innovative composting business, looking at the future for the land and provided the “best” top soil in the area.
    You will be missed, Steve, but never forgotten.
    Our deepest sympathies to the family.
    Maureen and Rick Segalla

  3. Oh I am so sad. Steve was so passionate about his animals and the farm. I am so very sorry to hear if Steve’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I have many photos of the farm from the time I worked with him. I am happy to pass them along if you’d like them.

    Peace – Lucy

  4. So sorry for your loss of such a gentle soul. He will be missed by all of us.

  5. I was greatly saddened to read of Stephen Leining’s death this morning. Although I did not know him very well, he had been letting me bring my garden weeds for compost for several years. He was always very kind and gentle, and it was wonderful to see his big warm smile when I would bring him a Tangleberry pie from Taft Farms. I will miss him very much and am deeply sorry for your loss of such a dear man.

  6. I just loved Steve’s operation: its relaxed, sign-free (you had to know about it), self-serve, trusting character; the ecological good sense of the enterprise; its grand scale; the big-sky, all-weather, train-track flat surrounded by mountains; the great pyramids of sorted, processed earth-products; Pepe. The place perfectly embodied the warm-hearted, friendly, practical, enterprising man I barely knew. The rare occasions when I unloaded the waste from my woodshop without seeing Steve were disappointing. His wave and smile always brightened my day, and whenever we had a chat it only made me want to know him better. I will miss him a lot. My sincere condolences to his family.

  7. Carol & Mike, We were so sorry to hear of the loss of your Brother Deepest sympathies. John & Terry

  8. Carol, Mike & Family,
    We are so sorry to hear of your Brother’s passing. Sending you our deepest sympathies. John & Terry Palfini

  9. This news is so sad, not just for Sheffield or for Berkshire County, but for the entire region. Steve’s gifts in agronomy have been generously given and valuable to those who love the soil and water, and those who are stewards of the resources, most particularly local growers. Steve has focused on the nurturing of the land and in gently showing all of us how to take care of it. I have never seen Steve without his giving me a smile and warm word, and I realize how very lucky we have been to have had this gifted man in our midst.

  10. Candice, Mahlon, Caleb, and Noah, We were so sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. He was a warm and friendly person and will be missed. Our little community of Sheffield has lost a devoted volunteer and a responsible business owner. Our condolences and deepest sympathy are with you. May God’s peace be with your family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *