Known as the 7-11 Lions Club's "Tale Twister" and a practical joker who enjoyed making people laugh, Allen D. Stack was also a man of his word with a humble and big heart for serving others.

"For him a handshake was a handshake, a dollar was a dollar and if he said he would be there he'd be there," said grandson-in-law Randall Dockery. "He was always true to his word and a man of integrity."

A business owner involved with a number of service clubs in town, Mr. Stack died unexpectedly on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at his home in Petaluma. He was 80.

Mr. Stack served in Army 43 Infantry Division as a Pvt. 2 from 1952 to 1954. His overseas duty included the Korean war in addition to serving in Germany. He was awarded the National Defense Service medal and the Army of Occupation medal. Mr. Stack was honorably discharged.

"He would tell stories, but mostly ones about other people or stories that would make you feel better," said Dockery. "He was not a boaster about his past. He would tell my kids stories that would teach them things, such as morals or history."

Mr. Stack was very much dedicated to the Petaluma 7-11 Lions Club, where he was in charge of many of its dinners and fundraising events involving cooking, such as the pancake breakfast before the Butter and Egg Days Parade.

"He'd also cook a french toast breakfast for the folks doing the Relay for Life event," said Randall. "He'd do the meals for the Veterans of Foreigns Wars events and for Sons of Italy. He loved and was good at cooking for large groups — and he was an excellent cook. A week before he died, he cooked a chili verde dinner. This past weekend he was supposed to cook corned beef and cabbage for about 100 people. He was just a master at cooking for large groups."

In addition to the 7-11 Lions, Mr. Stack was a member of many service groups and clubs, including the Odd Fellows Lodge No. 30, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1929, American Legion, 40 & 8 club, Sons of Italy, Petaluma Moose Lodge No. 475, Petaluma Elks Lodge No. 901, Petaluma Druids and Heritage Homes.

He also had a big heart for those in need. Each year at Christmas, Mr. Stack would get up early to deliver food to those in need before having Christmas dinner with his family.

"He was selfless," said Dockery. "He was so well known throughout every charitable organization in town."

Mr. Stack also had a big presence at the Petaluma Speedway.

"He loved being the villain and playing to the crowd," said Dockery.

As a businessman, Mr. Stack was involved in automotive dismantling and radiators for more than 55 years. He owned and operated Al Stack Auto on Petaluma Boulevard and the Al Stack Salvage Yard on Lakeville Street.

He was an avid traveler, enjoyed trading Lions friendship pins, visiting family and friends along the way.

"He was always the biggest presence in the room," said Dockery. "He loved laughing, never met a stranger and was happy when everyone was laughing."

Mr. Stack is survived by his wife of 56 years, Kaye Stack; children, Kim Steinbach, Leslee Hodges, Tammera Kelly and Jodie Ann Gallagher; siblings, John Stack, Marlou Grudt, Edward Stack, David Stack, Kathy Irvin and Cheryl Saum; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.

A viewing will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 21 at Parent Sorensen Mortuary & Crematory, 850 Keokuk St. A celebration of life will be held at noon on Friday, March 22 at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building, 1094 Petaluma Blvd. South.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lions Eye Foundation, 2340 Clay St., San Francisco 94115.