1958 LSU FB Member, Col. Michael Stupka, Passes Away
BATON ROUGE – Highly decorated Retired Colonel Michael B. Stupka, a member of the 1958 LSU National Championship football team, passed away on Sunday at the age of 81 in his hometown of Bogalusa, Louisiana.
Stupka, a member of the Go Team for Coach Paul Dietzel, graduated from LSU in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology and earned his commission in the United States Army through LSU ROTC that same year.
He was a junior on the 1958 team, playing at right guard for the Tigers. His father, Frank, also played tackle for the Tigers and lettered in 1934-35.
In 1973 he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Air Defense Center, Ft. Bliss, then served as Missile Intelligence Officer, Guided Missiles Officer of Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence; Organizational Policy Planner, J-5 Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Army Planner, Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, The Pentagon. In 1985, he became Executive Officer to Commander in Chief U.S. Readiness Command/U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Fla., and was named Acting Chief of Staff U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill in 1987.
He was Chief, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, LNO, Conus Exec to SACEUR/USCINCEU, The Pentagon from 1988-1990, when he retired from active duty.
He earned a Master’s Degree from Indiana University in 1968. He also completed studies at the U.S. Army War College, Command and General Staff College, and the Defense Language Institute (Vietnamese). An Honor Graduate Airborne Class 32, COL Stupka was on the Commandant’s List, Command and General Staff College and a Senior Fellow, Domestic and International Relations, Foreign Service Institute, U.S Department of State in 1987-1988.
In 2004 he received the Bill Wade Unsung Hero Award from the All-American Football Foundation.
Among Colonel Stupka’s military recognitions are the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and numerous commendation medals and foreign awards.
Colonel Stupka served as military analyst for AP Radio News Network for Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and the first Iraq War. He was a member of the U.S. Army War College, and Indiana University Alumni Associations, Tiger Athletic Foundation, Cadets of the Ole War Skule, and the ‘L’ Club, where he served on its Board of Directors from 1995-2000.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Bonnie, his two daughters, Michele and Mary Beth. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday at the Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home in Bogalusa. Visitation will be from 9-11 a.m. following with a service and procession to the burial site.