John Smith was a small-business owner from South Brisbane who used to sell toilet paper to customers at the supermarket.
But in 1978 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Now aged 95, Mr Smith died in hospital on Monday.
“He was a great man and we will miss him terribly,” Mr Smith’s daughter Lisa said.
“We were in shock when we found out about it, but we are devastated for the family and friends of his.”
Mr Smith bought a large number of handmade toilet papers at the nearby Brisbane Supermarket and then sold them to other customers at a local stationery shop.
He said he was the kind of guy who always did the right thing.
“I never liked the idea of making money from what I could do myself, but I did have to make the most of what I had,” he said.
In addition to the sale of his business, Mr Gillespie was also known for selling hand-made furniture to local businesses, including a cafe.
Mr Smith was also involved in a small theatre company, and was a member of the South Brisbane Boys Band, which played regularly at the South Gippsland County Fair in the 1980s.
“John was a very quiet person, but he was very good at making people laugh,” Mr Gilling said.
Mr Gills father died from prostate cancer in 1986.
“As a father of five boys, I think that’s how I knew he was OK,” Mr Dorn said.
The family of Mr Smith are also devastated by the loss of the other two of his children, David and Lyle.
“It is a sad day for the entire family, but the kids are really good,” Mr Gillespie said.