SMITHVILLE — Leinda Haddock, co-owner of Ladoga Ridge Winery in Smithville, passed away last week, leaving behind her husband, Galen; stepson, Bryant Haddock; daughters, Melissa Forster and Brittany Pelham; and seven grandchildren, Peyton and Camden Forster, Mia and Miley Haddock and Hunter, Brantley, and Avery Pelham; in addition to other family and friends.

Following the news of Haddock’s passing, an outpouring of support flooded her Facebook page.

“My mind continues to reminisce on all my memories of Leinda Sullenger Haddock, a true friend for 40 years. We were blessed to have each other during some of our darkest days. Leinda had just lost her husband in a bad accident and I had just become a newly divorced and single parent. We needed each others support so very much. We shared sadness and happiness together. We both had amazing small daughters, who even looked liked twins. We also shared the same birthday of Sept. 4. (There were) many good times together with road trips including one to Branson, where we stopped at every McDonald’s for ice cream cones. So many memories,” Christy Kranz posted.

Kranz said both women were remarried within months of one another, further solidifying theireverlasting bond.

“We began building new and happy (lives). Life got busy for both of us with wonderful new husbands, and soon new daughters being born,” she wrote on social media. “I keep asking why it seems the good die young and why it had to be her? Maybe someday I will know, but until then, it’s not goodbye, it’s ‘See you later my friend.’”

“Leinda, my good friend, we will truly miss you and the cheer you brought to those around you with your smile and giving nature. Rest well and in peace,” posted Jack Woods to Facebook.

“The sunsets at Ladoga are beautiful. I miss her so much already and can’t believe this is real. She was a warm spirit who loved her family and her work. She and Galen have built a gorgeous place to go to unwind. It just won’t be the same though without her smiling face and conversation,” Teresa Nelson Stanton posted to the Ladoga Ridge Winery Facebook page.

Additionally, those in the wine industry shared thoughts and memories of Haddock on their own Facebook pages. Haddock was a founder of The Northwest Missouri Wine Trail, in existence for nearly a decade.

Jesse Leimkuehler, owner of Liberty’s Belvoir Winery, posted to the winery’s Facebook page last week.

“People ask about our competitors in the area. I always tell people that wineries don’t compete. In our business, we actually send our customers to our ‘competitors.’ It runs contrary to most businesses. As a result, we rarely harbor any ill will towards other wineries in our area. If anything, we appreciate them. We’d like to send on our most sincere sympathies to the Haddocks and the Ladoga Ridge family. We’d encourage people to go to their winery over the next few weeks and support them,” he wrote. “Wineries consider their customers family and nothing is more important than seeing all of you, especially during these times. Thanks to Leinda for helping make our wine trail the wonderful family it is today.”

Trail member and owner of Fence Stile Winery Shriti Plimpton posted that her heart hurts for Galen, the family and the community.

Plimpton first met the Haddocks when Galen and Leinda came to her winery to discuss plans for Ladoga Ridge.

“Both wineries were in the early stages so there was a lot of shared learning. Galen and William geeked out on their plans and visions. Meanwhile, Leinda and I chatted about the nuances of raising a family while building a business, creating realistic plans and balancing the workload to come with the excitement of creating something amazing,” she wrote.

Plimpton said Leinda helped shaped the wine trail and bring the group together.

“Her calm, reasoned, quiet approach and brilliant warm smile have been a source of strength and foundation for our wine trail. She will be missed. In the coming weeks, as you start to get out, I ask you to visit Ladoga Ridge Winery and show that team the same love and support you have showed us.”

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