World War II vet from Medina celebrated on his 100th birthday

Photos by Ginny Kropf: From left, Dave Higgins, Greg Smith, Carol Callina, Bradley Nudd, Jim Wells, Jim Freas and Eric Delano, all members of the American Legion, salute Stanley Stack on the occasion of his 100th birthday Sunday, and his brother Ed Stack. Stan is a World War II Navy veteran, and Ed served 20 years in the Air Force.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 4 July 2022 at 8:13 am

Stanley Stack of Medina, seated, gets a hug from his brother Ed during a party Sunday at Sacred Heart Club to celebrate Stan’s 100th birthday.

MEDINA – Things have changed a lot in the last 100 years, but Stanley Stack says nothing has surprised him, except maybe the fact he has lived to be this ripe old age.

On Sunday afternoon, he was honored at a party at Sacred Heart Club, which began with a salute and singing “Happy Birthday” by members of the Butts-Clark American Legion Post.

Stanley was born in Medina July 3, 1922, the oldest of Joseph and Julia Stack’s 10 children. Only he and his youngest sibling, brother Ed, 83, of Massachusetts are still living.

Ed made the trip from Cape Cod to celebrate Stan’s milestone. It is the first time in 15 years they have seen each other.

“God bless him,” Ed said. “He used to let me take his car to go see my girlfriend in Buffalo.”

Stanley quit school to go to work, then enlisted in the Navy in 1942. He was sent to New London, Conn. submarine base and then to Pearl Harbor after the attack, where he spent a year and a half.  He returned home after the war, got his high school diploma and went to work at Harrison Radiator, retiring from there in 1976, after 31 years.

He met and married Medina native Mary Hibbard, with whom he celebrated 73 years of marriage. They had a daughter Lisa and one granddaughter, Allison. Mary died in October 2020.

Stan said he always liked to keep active and he has always liked to play cards. He was an avid bowler, a member of Sacred Heart Club, the American Legion and Senior Citizens of Western New York, where he played pinochle two days a week for many years.

An 82-year member of Sacred Heart, he is their oldest surviving member.

Stanley Stack gets in a game of euchre during his 100th birthday party Sunday. Looking on are his daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Chris Joseph.

He never thought he’d live to be 100 and doesn’t know what he did to achieve that goal.

“I never drank water, but I liked BV and ginger,” he said. “I ate a good diet and was outside all the time.”

He has broken his leg twice and last December moved to The Willows when his legs began to give out.

Although his mind is sharp as ever, he gets around in a wheelchair. His card-playing partners visit him once a week to play an afternoon of pinochle, and he doesn’t miss a trick.

Daughter Lisa and son-in-law Chris Joseph came from Missouri, along with their daughter Allison from North Carolina to plan Stan’s party. Other guests came from Florida, Massachusetts and Georgia.

One guest was Chris Hare, who picked Stan up and took him to euchre at Sacred Heart every Monday night for at least seven years, Hare said.

“He was playing euchre before I was born,” he said.

When Chris brought out a deck of cards Sunday, Stan was ready for a game of euchre.

Lisa said Stan has been an awesome dad.

“Rarely did I get punished, but when I did, I knew I had done something wrong,” she said.

Allison said her grandpa is her hero and his name is tattooed on her arm.