LEEDS - Stephen M. Berniche, 57, of Winchester, New Hampshire, and formerly of Leeds, passed away Thursday, June 5, 2014.
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Born May 17, 1957, in Northampton, he was the son of the late Donald Berniche and Joan (Grant) Korza. He was educated in local schools and graduated from the former St. Michael's High School.
After a heroic career in the U.S. Coast Guard as a rescue pilot/aviator, Stephen fulfilled his love of flying as a corporate pilot which afforded him extensive travel around the world. He was also a member of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.
A man of many talents and interests, he will be remembered for his generosity of spirit, political and social insight, his true humanitarianism and for his intense love for his family. He was particularly proud of and happy to share his beloved mountain home with both new and old friends and family.
Stephen leaves his mother Joan Korza and her husband Richard of Hatfield, and his daughter Erin Peterson and her husband Cody of Marston Mills. He also leaves his grandchildren Makayla, Emily and Corey of Cape Cod; his sisters Carolyn Strycharz and her husband Joseph and their daughters, Jillian and Jacqueline of Hatfield; Jean Berniche and her companion Pamela Cox of Rock Hill, South Carolina; Joan Brown and her husband Philip Brown of Sarasota, Florida; and Michelle Berniche of Leeds. He also leaves his companion Christina Major of Keene, New Hampshire.
He was predeceased by his daughter Lindsay Roberge.
Calling hours will be Wednesday, June 11, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Czelusniak Funeral Home of Northampton, 173 North St., Northampton. A celebration of his life will immediately follow the calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to a special account established for the future education of Stephen's grandchildren. Funds may be sent to Carolyn Strycharz, People's United Bank, 22A West St., West Hatfield, MA 01088.
"Passion without conviction is merely theatre. Conviction without passion is simply cowardice."
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Czelusniak Funeral Home
173 North Street Northampton, MA 01060
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on June 10, 2014