Henneke Funeral Home
1515 Montezuma St
Columbus, TX 78934
(979) 732-2143
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Christopher LeRoy Stein

January 10, 1952 - September 16, 2020

Christopher LeRoy Stein died surrounded by friends and family in Columbus, TX on September 16, 2020 at the age of 68. The community is smaller now that he is gone but greater for having had him in it.

He was born January 10, 1952 to LeRoy and Lillian Lois Burt Stein. He was a sixth generation Colorado County resident. He attended St. Anthonys School and Columbus High School. He received a BA in History from St. Edward's University in Austin and a JD from St. Mary's School of Law in San Antonio. He returned to Columbus in 1980 and began working for Hodges, Gates & Halcolm Law Firm. He was made a partner and worked as a lawyer for 36 years until he quit in 2017. He loved his partners, his secretarial staff, his clients and the practice of law.

Chris served on the board of Columbus Community Hospital. During this time the hospital went from a privately owned organization to a publicly supported community hospital district. It has been said that he was instrumental in saving the hospital. He helped to bring in new administrative staff and physicians that led to future remodels and expansions that have brought the Columbus Community Hospital into the spotlight as one of the most successful hospitals in rural Texas.

He was president of the Columbus Rotary Club; the Magnolia Homes Tour; he was also on the board of the Nesbitt Memorial Library; Columbus State Bank; Hill Bank & Trust in Weimar and Bank of Houston with his brother. In addition to serving on the board at Nesbitt Memorial Library he enjoyed leading tours on the Live Oaks and Dead Folks cemetery tour - which has taken place annually since it was started by his brother in 2003.

Chris spearheaded the renovation of the Columbus High School baseball field. He and his friends spent many weekends building the field, collecting funds and turning it into the top notch field that is there today. If you look you can see that there are two signs in morse code in the outfield fence that honor CV Batot and Carl Yastrzemski. Mr. Batot was an avid baseball fan, Cardinal supporter and pillar of the Columbus community. Carl Yastrzemski was the All-Star outfielder for the Boston Red Sox for many years - Chris's favorite team. He was a founding member of the Columbus Rotisserie League, founded in 1986 with other baseball fanatics in Columbus and South Central Texas. He looked forward to the annual draft, studying and making notes for months. His team the Magyars won multiple times. He was a Little League coach for many years, instilling good sportsmanship, camaraderie and fun in his players.

Chris was a member of the Saturday morning breakfast club that met at Schobel's Restaurant almost every Saturday morning for more than 20 years. Every Wednesday night he would meet up with his poker buddies and play cards, who are all avid Democrats. He spent his retirement reading and playing dominoes, bridge and spending time with his family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents LeRoy and Lillian Lois Burt Stein; his maternal grandparents, LeRoy and beloved Granny Burt; his paternal grandparents, Ewald and Lily Leyendecker Stein; his brother Bill Stein; his sister Patty Stein; and his in laws, Charles and Faye Johnson.

He is survived by the love his life, his wife of 43 years Gaynelle Stein of Columbus; his children: son Ford Stein and wife Serena of Hallettsville; daughter Charlotte Stein and partner Travis Paul Wegenhoft of Columbus; brother Jim Stein of Houston; beloved sister-in-law Vickie Johnson Connally of Elgin; as well as by niece Rachel Adams and husband Tim of Arlington; niece Jamie Leigh Stein Safier and husband Jason of Houston; niece DiAundra Carter of San Antonio; niece Britney Gallagher and husband David of the Woodlands; nieces Jordan Stein and Jade Stein of Houston; nephew Joe Johnson and wife Monica of Taylor; niece Gwen Curry and husband Jody of Belton; nephew Charles Johnson and wife Tanisha of Round Rock; nephew Abe Connally and wife Josie of McDade; niece Dr. Emily Connally and husband John Puplett of Oxford, UK; niece Amelia Hight of Boulder, CO; nephew Forrest Connally of Loving, NM; as well as many great nephews and nieces, all of whom brought him much joy and laughter. He loved to be surrounded by the noise and activity of friends and family. He loved to tell stories and make people laugh. He enjoyed traveling the world with his wife and seeing the history he had read about in his many books come to life. He was inspired by many Greek poets and scholars. He lived a peaceful life and in that vein mourners are asked to destroy or permanently disable one gun.

Memorial service to be held Sunday, September 20, 2020 at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus, TX at 2:00 pm. Masks and social distancing are mandatory.

The family would like to thank the many people who have shined a little light into this dark time. With a special thank you to the Colorado County EMS and City of Columbus Police Department for all that they did.

Monetary memorials are requested to Columbus Community Hospital Foundation, Inc., 110 Schultz, Columbus, TX 78934.


Christopher LeRoy Stein
January 10, 1952 - September 16, 2020


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