J.W. Stine, a decorated World War II fighter pilot and founder of Stine Home + Yard, passed away December 23 at the age of 102.
The company’s roots date back to 1946 when high school best friends J.W. Stine and J.C. Carlin returned to their Sulphur homes from World War II as decorated combat pilots. They bought land and began building homes as the newly formed Starlin Construction Company. After six successful years in the construction business, they amicably parted ways and J.W. went into the retail lumber business.
As detailed in the company’s website, J.W.’s strong faith in God helped anchor his value system to treat his associates, customers and community with a servant leader attitude. His humility earned the customers respect, and his gratitude, their loyalty. Despite competition being tough in the 1950s his business continued to grow. At home, he and his wife Dee Dee, had seven children by the end of the decade.
In the mid-1960s, the first of J.W’s six sons joined the business. The 1970s were a pivotal time with all of the sons involved, and still only one store—growth had to occur. On the national stage, the small-town lumberyards were being replaced by home centers, stores attracting more consumer business to supplement the builder trade. Stine embraced this new format with the opening of a new 10,000-square-foot showroom replacing the smaller 2,500-square-foot builder yard. With it, a new advertising slogan was created: “The Family You Can Build Around.”
The word family meant much more than just J.W. and the boys, it included all associates in a unified effort to help serve the community. Everyone at Stine became very passionate about this new store concept and slogan. It helped propel the business from one small store to three by 1981—earning the national honor of “Home Center of the Year.” Soon after, J.W. retired and his six sons took over the helm. This new leadership and renewed passion for excellence guided the expansion efforts to 10 stores by the year 2000. Today, they operate 11 Home + Yard stores.
He was predeceased by his former wife Doris Drost Stine; his parents, Andrew Stine and Elma Stine; his siblings, Rose Waverland Stine and Kyle Kenneth Stine; his granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Stine; his step-grandson Shelby Hathaway LaCroix III; and his great grandchild Holden William Stine.
He is survived by his wife Dee Dee; his sisters, Dorothy Byrley of Tyler, TX and Gerry McCallum of Sulphur; and his children, Janie Stine LaCroix (Shelby) of Clearlake, TX, Richard William Stine (Mary) of Lake Charles, Gary Carl Stine (Vickie) of Sulphur, Jay Andrew Stine (Wanda) of DeRidder, Dennis Neal Stine (Marla) of Lake Charles, David Paul Stine (Kim) of Lake Charles and Timothy Drost Stine (Jane) of Sulphur.
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