For Jim Stine, it was a tale of two productive careers—first as an in-program analyst for the government, second as a beloved bakery owner in Middleburg. And along the way, there was military service, as well.
Mr. Stine, a long-time Middleburg resident, died at the age of 92 on March 20, 2021, at the Reston Hospital Center, 37 years after he founded The Upper Crust Bakery. His favorite expression over the last four decades was “a smile and a cookie.”
He put smiles on the faces of countless children, not to mention their parents when he frequently offered up a free cookie as they came into the bakery to place an order. His son, Scott, now runs the Upper Crust and also has carried on the same generous tradition.
James Melvin Stine was born on June 28, 1928, in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, to Cleveland Walter Stine and Mamie Bradley Stine, both natives of Lewistown.
Mr. Stine was a 1954 graduate of Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, earning a degree in industrial engineering. He worked for 30 years as a program analyst in the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command. until he retired in 1984. He also was an active duty Air Force reservist from 1954-1958 and stayed in the reserves until he retired from the military as a colonel in 1984.
Then came the bakery, despite some early obstacles in finding just the right location in an old house at its current location in the heart of the village. The building was restored and soon cakes, pies and cookies and countless orders of soups and sandwiches were heading out the door.
Mr. Stine also came up with some rather inventive names for some of his goodies, including the famous cow-puddle cookie that sort of resembles a cow you know what, only it’s deliciously delectable.
The first few years were something of a struggle, but Mr. Stine persevered and built the Upper Crust into a Middleburg institution and must-visit destination for locals and visitors alike.
Mr. Stine was very much involved in community activities for many years. In the early 1970s, he organized the Howell E. Jackson Middleburg Fife and Drum Corps with the assistance of Mrs. John Sheer, who sewed the unit’s linens uniforms to individual specifications. The unit performed in a variety of locations during the Bicentennial year of 1976, including at the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico race track in Baltimore.
They traveled there in a vintage double-decker bus that suffered engine problems along the way but nevertheless made it to the track’s infield in time to perform for thousands of spectators attending the big race.
In the 1980s, Mr. Stine turned his attention to raising funds for the Middleburg Community Center, where he organized several events, including a song and dance review called “Curtains Up.” There were sold-out performances and it was a huge success.
A long-time member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, he was a frequent volunteer at the church’s annual rummage sale, Christmas shop, and any other event where an extra hand was needed. He also donated to a number of local good causes—schools, churches, and horse shows, among others—over many years.
Mr. Stine was married to Marsha Irwin Stine on June 3, 1960, and he is survived by his wife of 61 years; two sons, Charles William Stine (Mary) and Scott Irwin Stine (Teresa), both of Middleburg, and two granddaughters, Taylor Dare Stine and Sarah Parker Stine.
A funeral service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a date still to be determined.