Northwestern State University honored alumnus J.W. Stine of Sulphur with the Nth Degree, a special award that recognizes an individual for meritorious service to others. Stine, a World War II veteran combat pilot and long-time Louisiana businessman and philanthropist, celebrated his 100th birthday July 22.
Stine was born to Sulphur residents Andrew Stine and Elma Landry Stine and attended Sulphur High School, where he played quarterback for four years. He enrolled at Normal College, as NSU was then known, on a football scholarship in 1939 and lived in Caspari Hall, then a men’s dormitory. He left school to join the U.S. Army Air Corps, now the U.S. Air Force, in 1943 and was sent overseas in 1944.
Just before he left to serve overseas, he married his high school sweetheart Dorris “Dee Dee” Drost in 1944. They were married 67 years until her passing in 2011 and raised six sons and one daughter. Stine has 31 grandchildren and 71 great-grandchildren.
In World War II, Stine flew more than 40 combat missions as pilot of a B-26 Marauder in the 17th Bombardment Group, which conducted missions against targets throughout the Mediterranean, Italy, France and Germany.
After the war Stine and a friend started a construction company and later a lumber company in Sulphur, now called Stine Lumber Company. He became the sole owner in 1952, and during the 1960s and 70s, all six of his sons joined him in the family business. Headquartered in Sulphur, the company employs 850 associates at 10 locations in Louisiana and one in Mississippi. Although he has been retired for many years, Stine still has an office in the business. Stine Lumber hosted a 100th birthday celebration at each of its stores on Aug. 4, a private family celebration also took place.
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. He has supported many organizations in the community and in 1989, was awarded Citizen of the Year by the Diocese of Lake Charles.