Business Kosta Dimitrovski was known in the Illawarra as the man who once owned the Thirroul Beach Motel and Austinmer's Headlands Hotel.
Yet in his home town of Thirroul, the well-liked Mr Dimitrovski was known by everyone as Con Vasil.
Mr Dimitrovski died on March 3, aged 80, in Bitola, Macedonia.
Northern suburbs pharmacist Alyn Vincent has paid tribute to Mr Dimitrovski, remembering him as an affable man with a strong sense of community.
"He worked hard over the years and built up his assets, including the motel, which was good for Thirroul at the time.
"His late wife, Helen, was always not far from him. They worked hard and supported the local community."
Mr Vincent said that life had become tough for Mr Dimitrovski in recent years.
"What he had worked so hard for was destroyed and taken away from him," he said.
Mr Dimitrovski's Lawrence Hargrave Drive home sold at auction two days before his death.
Last year, Mr Dimitrovski was declared bankrupt and was ordered to hand over the keys to his Thirroul property after he defaulted on the mortgage and a $1-million loan agreement.
Mr Dimitrovski and his son, George, also lost a last-ditch attempt to hang on to the popular hotel in 2013. The pair spent nearly two years challenging the Land and Environment court's decision to hand the motel over to Australian Executor Trustees Limited after they defaulted.