LAFOLLETTE, TN (SPECIAL TO WLAF) -General Carl W. Stiner passed away peacefully surrounded by family and loved ones on Thursday, June 2, 2022. Carl was a loving father, husband, grandfather and friend. A proud veteran of the US Army for 35 years, serving as a distinguished soldier, a courageous leader and a dedicated, God-fearing man. He believed strongly in the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. He was a long-time member of First Baptist Church LaFollette. 

Carl Wade Stiner was born on September 7, 1936 in LaFollette, TN. He was the son of Emit and Hassie Stiner and grew up a farmer, always understanding the valuable role of hard work and education. He graduated and was commissioned in the Infantry from Tennessee Polytechnic Institute on May 30, 1958. He met his lifelong companion and loving wife, Sue at Ft Benning, GA. They raised a family and traveled the world together for over 60 years of marriage. 

His first Special Operations tour of duty was in 1964-66 with the 3rd Special Forces group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Following graduation from the Army Command and General Staff College in 1967, he served in Vietnam as both an Infantry Battalion and Brigade Operations Officer (S3) with the 4th Infantry Division. 

During his 35-year career in the Army, General Stiner commanded the US Military’s preeminent contingency strike forces, including the Joint Special Operations Command, the 82nd Airborne Division, the XVIII Airborne Corps, and the US Special Operations Command. As Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps, he was designated Commander, Joint Task Force South, and served as the Operational Commander of all forces employed on Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama in December 1989. In June 1990, he was promoted to the rank of General and became the second Commander in Chief of the US Special Operations Command. In this role, he was responsible for the readiness of all Special Operations Forces of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, both active duty and reserve, during Operation Desert Storm. General Stiner retired in May 1993 and moved back to his hometown of LaFollette where he and his wife remained dedicated members of the community. 

He is preceded in death by his father and mother, brothers Glen and Tom Stiner and sister Jo Ann Sharp. He is survived by his wife of 62 years and two loving daughters and their families. Carla (Jim) Reel (son Jackson), of Knoxville, TN; Laurie (Robert) Lancaster (son David and daughter Kate), of Leesburg, VA; brother Emory Stiner (Carolyn) (daughter Shannon); along with nieces and nephews and extended family and friends. 

Family will welcome friends on Saturday, June 11 from 12p to 2p at the First Baptist Church of LaFollette on Central Ave. Following the visitation, the service will be held at the church with full military honors. Formal Interment will follow at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens. General Stiner will lie in state at Cross-Smith Funeral Home from 10 AM until 5 PM Friday, June 10. 

The family requests donations in lieu of flowers to Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which ensures complete post-secondary educational support “cradle to career” for eligible surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces and First Baptist Church LaFollette. 

Online condolences may be made at 
Arrangements by Cross-Smith Funeral Home, LaFollette (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/07/2022-10AM)