Stephen Douglas Keiderling, 84, formerly of Otis, died peacefully at home on Thursday, April 28 in the loving arms of his four children. Stephen was born on August 4, 1937 in Springfield, Massachusetts to Walter Conrad and Viola (Chase) Keiderling.
After his graduation from Springfield Technical High School in 1955, Stephen served in the U.S. Air Force until 1963, where he attained the rank of Airman Second Class. He retired from his position as a quality inspector at Clark Aiken/E.C.H. Will in 1995. Together with his wife, he owned McManus' General Store from 1974-1981, converting it to an antique shop after 1981.
Stephen loved to travel off the beaten path and especially by car. In his lifetime, he visited all but three U.S. states. An avid antique collector, Stephen traveled regularly throughout the Northeast and upstate New York, always in search of the perfect find. Most especially, Stephen collected antique toys and memorabilia associated with the Town of Otis. A lover of all things old and an exceptionally talented mechanic and carpenter, Stephen restored several antique cars and two houses during his lifetime. He also enjoyed photography, boating, and building furniture and dollhouses, and he was a veritable expert on World War II. Finally, Stephen loved to spend time with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, who will deeply miss his dry wit, his vast knowledge, and his warm companionship.
Stephen was predeceased by his wife, the former Joanne McManus, whom he married on July 5, 1959. He leaves behind his children: Eline Forward and her partner Kenneth Baczek of Lenox, Andrew Keiderling and his wife Gloria of Pace, FL, Jane McEvoy and her husband Martin of Pittsfield, and Sara Hicks and her husband David of Pittsfield. He also leaves behind his beloved grandchildren: Stephanie Sayers, Brandon and Zachary Forward, Angelica Keiderling, Joanna McCann, Alexander Wrzesinski, and Michael, Dylan, Stephen, and Molly Hicks; and his great grandchildren: Deakan, Aubrianna, and Makenzie Sayers, Aleah Forward, Eve McCann, and Wyatt and Autumn Hicks. He is also survived by his siblings: Wayne Keiderling of Camden, ME, Glenn Keiderling of Tolland, MA, Dianne Fennelly of Lee, MA,, and Donna Tripp, of Pittsfield, MA.
Funeral services for Stephen Keiderling will be held on Thursday, May 5, 10AM at the Tyringham Union Church with the Rev. Janet McKinstry, presiding. Burial, with military honors, will follow at the Otis Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made is his memory to the American Diabetes Association in care of Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main Street, Lee, MA 01238.
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American Diabetes Association
C/O Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main St., Lee MA 01238