Louisiana businessman and philanthropist, Jackson William (J.W.) Stine, celebrated his 100th birthday at a private family gathering yesterday.
But the party didn’t end there. The business he created, Stine Lumber Company, will host 100th Birthday Celebrations in each of its stores on Saturday, Aug. 4.
“Obviously, Dad touched our lives in more ways than we can count, but he also touched the lives of so many people in our community,” his son, Dennis Stine, CEO of Stine, said. “We want to share this special 100th birthday celebration with all of our customers and friends as well.”
The first 100 people to walk through the front doors at each Stine location on August 4 will receive a free commemorative J.W. Stine 100th Birthday hat. Stine associates will grill hot dogs and serve birthday cake and other refreshments to their customers.
“Dad was always so grateful to all of his customers over the years. It is only fitting that we share this milestone with them, and thank them for honoring our dad, and us with their business,” said David Stine, VP of Marketing and Merchandising.
Customers arriving later than the first 100 will be able to purchase a commemorative hat the proceeds of which will benefit the VFW.
Stine’s birthday is today and to mark the event, Sunday, July 22, 2018 was proclaimed “J.W. Stine Day” in the City of Sulphur, Calcasieu Parish, and the State of Louisiana. Sulphur Mayor Mike Danahay issued the proclamation for the City of Sulphur. State Senator Ronnie Johns was on hand Saturday to present a proclamation from the state’s House and Senate and Governor John Bel Edwards. “People all over this state know who the Stine family is,” he told the crowd of about 100 in the backyard of the family home. “Be proud to be a Stine.” Calcasieu Parish Police Juror Les Farnum presented a proclamation on behalf of the Police Jury at the event.
Stine, a World War II combat pilot, still resides in the home in which he and his wife, the late Doris (Dee Dee) Drost, raised six sons and a daughter. The home is located in Villa Maria, one of several subdivisions in Sulphur built by the construction company Stine and his childhood best friend J.C. Carlin opened after the two returned from WWII. The two then launched a lumber company, Starlin Lumber, to supply the construction business. In 1952, Stine bought out Carlin’s share and in 1973 he changed the name to Stine Lumber. The company has about 850 employees and 10 Louisiana stores located in Sulphur, Lake Charles, Iowa, DeRidder, Crowley, Jennings, Natchitoches, Broussard, Walker and Alexandria and one in Natchez, Mississippi. Stine Lumber Company has been headquartered in Sulphur for the past 72 years and boasts annual sales of more than $200 million. Three of Stine’s sons are currently employed with and three have retired from the family business. Seven of his grandchildren are part of the business as well.
Though Stine retired more than 30 years ago, he still has an office at Stine’s Sulphur corporate office.
Stine was born on July 22, 1918 to Sulphur residents Andrew and Elma Landry Stine. After attending Sulphur High School, where he played quarterback all four years, he attended Normal College, known today as Northwestern State University, on a football scholarship. His was also a Golden Gloves boxer.
In 1943, Stine joined the United States Army Air Corps, what is now the Air Force. Captain Stine, a B-26 Marauder pilot with the 17th Bombardment Group, flew more than 40 combat missions against critical targets over the Mediterranean, Italy, France, and Germany, The 17th received the Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for its support of the Anzio invasion and another for its outstanding performance over Schweinfurt. They also received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for operations in support of the invasion of France.
On January 14, 1944, shortly before leaving to fight in WWII, Stine married his high school sweetheart Doris Drost. Their union lasted 67 years, until her passing in 2011.
Together the couple raised Richard, Gary, Janie LaCroix, Jay, twins Dennis and David, and Tim, among them an accomplished and nationally-known artist, a colonel in the Air Force, a captain in the National Guard, two former Louisiana state legislators, a former Sulphur City Councilman, a former Louisiana Commissioner of Administration, past president of Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce, past McNeese State University Foundation president, past chairman of the Boy Scouts of America Calcasieu Area Council, past chairman of the Council for A Better Louisiana, a current member of the Christus Health System Board, and current chairman of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
The Stine name will also live on through the couple’s 31 grandchildren and 71 great-grandchildren.
Stine is a member of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church in Sulphur and has been a member of the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion for many years. In 1989, he was awarded Citizen of the Year by the Diocese of Lake Charles.
Stine has been quoted as saying that the secret to longevity is to, “Always be humble and grateful for everything in your life.”
Stine, through millions of dollars in personal and company donations to countless organizations over the years, has given back ten-fold to the community that supported his success.