He brought a smile to all of our faces with his unwavering determination, fundraising dedication and lust for life.
And today our community mourns the death of Jim Purcell, known to many as Jarra Jim, who died this morning at the age of 96.
His was a familiar face at the Great North Run - running more than 25 of them in his time - and around South Tyneside as he took part in various activities for charity.
To date, he has raised thousands of pounds for good causes and in 2017 he was awarded a Lifetime Contribution accolade at the Gazette's Best of South Tyneside Awards.
We all have our own special memories of the local legend - and you've been sharing some of your own tributes with us on social media.
Here's what you had to say:
Linzi Smith: "RIP Jarra Jim, a true legend - the great north run wont be the same this year!"
Sarah Emms: "Gone but never forgotten Jarra Jim rest in peace."
Natalie Bulman: "Awwww my god, RIP Jarra Jim, gone but never forgotten, will always be a legend."
Ann Wallace: "Sad news. GNR will never be the same. RIP Jim."
Gill Brown: "The John Reid Road was always sunny when we saw you Jim and that smile, rest in peace."
Judith Topping: "Bless him. He'll be running his way to heaven."
Janet Rossiter: "Rest in peace lovely man."
Sherina Mcgee: "RIPJarra Jim you are a legend."
Chris Wilkinson: "RIP Jim sadly missed."
Keith Ford: "Awww. Bless him."
Doreen Thompson: "RIP Jim god bless you."
Gordon Lindsay: "RIP Jim, a true legend."
Stu Orr: "RIP Jarra Jim, all them Great North Runs, all that money raised for charity hopefully the organisers of the GNR will pay a tribute to him at this year's run."
Sophie Purchase: "GOD BLESS YOU JIM. Your stories always had me fascinated as a child on the occasions I bumped into you with my dad as a child.
"But the biggest honour I had was to speak to you during my first ever Great North Run in 2014, the last run you participated on your feet but by god lad did you do well.
"I recall you put me in my place in your usual humorous manner, quote: 'Hoy young'un don't stop to speak to an oldy like me, keep going and enjoy the atmosphere of your first r, you're doing amazing'.
"You have won over the hearts of many and your fundraising has been exceptional. This year you most certainly won't be forgotten from start to finish of the run."
David Tuck: "RIP Jim, GNR wont be the same without you ... legend."
Lee Hughes: "Jarra legend always had a story to tell. RIP, God bless to the family."
Emma-Jane Moor: "Rest in peace Jim. It was a pleasure to meet you during several GNRs. You inspired so many struggling runners with your kind words and positivity, sleep tight."
Viv Marley: "Rest in peace Jim I know you will be missed by a lot of people."
Emmaline Taylor: "RIP Jarra Jim. Safe in God's arms you were a lovely sweet gentleman."
Agnes George: "RIP. Jarra Jim. A long and eventful life."
Pam Johnson: "RIP Jarra Jim always remembered true legend."
Carol Goodwin: "Ah bless him he's a lovely man. RIP Jarrow Jim."
Andrew Rambo Reilly: "So sad RIP Jarra Jim."
Paul Andaz Andersen: "RIP JARRA JIM what a gent and a legend. Used to love listening to your stories when you came into my work.
"My boss used to say 'Haway Paul you have work to do' and Jim you would reply, 'he is working I am talking to him' hahahaha fly high Jim."
Noella Nicholas: "I hadn't saw him for a long time passing my mam's house to go to church every Saturday night.
"I thought he must be poorly because he never missed going. Lovely true gentleman. RIP Jim."
Sarah Louise Devlin: "I was so shocked to hear the news this morning of Jim’s passing he was such a lovely bloke a true gentleman and when I started singing at St Mary’s he made me feel welcome and made Saturday nights a joy.
"He was always happy to see the kids and tell them his stories."
Lauren Sarah Mizen: "It was always a pleasure to talk to you and listen to your stories. I've known you since i was little. A true hero. You'll be sadly missed Jarra Jim."
Ian Keedy: "Sad news. What a nice bloke he was."
Jonny Linsley: "RIP Jim. Gentlemen and legend."
Pat Long: Rest in peace Jim, great North run won't be the same without you.
"Was a pleasure to know this gentleman and loved listening to his stories when we saw him in Jarrow, your now back with your beloved wife."
Joanne Harrison: "RIP Jarra Jim, an inspiration to many."
Peter Watt: "Not many like him he'll be missed 41 me and I couldn't run like him."
Vicki Milburn: "So sad! An inspirational man. I loved watching out for him passing by during GNR."
Dave Pickering: "RIP Jim, a true gentleman, always made time for you."
Jennie Thornton: "God bless you Jim. Heaven has another angel."
Amy Arnold: "RIP to a local hero thinking of the family and many friends he would have got over the years."
Arthur Fraser: "Every time a bell rings a angel gets its wings Jim will have his god bless him"
Lesley Kay Hanson: Dear Jim, I remember very well the over the top make up he used for his character appearances at Jarrow Amateur Operatics.
"He and my late husband, Alex Lumsley, used to share techniques. Caused hysterical laughter in Mother Goose when I tried to do a quick change in darkness in the wings.
"He went on stage with his cape upside down. A true trooper. I will miss seeing him in Jarrow town centre for one of his very interesting chats. Condolences to his family. Lovely man."
Yvonne Langley: "RIP you Great North Run hero."
Jack White: "Jarra Jim was an absolute legend. An incredibly witty and charming man, always with a story to tell.
"My own Grampy Terry White, 91, continued running the Great North Run until he was 89 and we’d always see Jarra Jim on the Saturday before at church at St Marys before the big day.
"Rest in peace, Jim."
Donna Mary Hooper: "Gutted. I met Jim in STGH chapel when my Nanna was dying - I was in a right state and he took the time to talk to me and we even had a laugh.
"A true inspiration - he was a lovely man."
Sue Fisher: "Sleep tight big man. It was always a pleasure to have a wee chat with you. A true life angel and one of the most inspirational people I have ever met."
Dan Garrett: "Met this man before a charity run once, stood talking to me for ages. What a pleasant bloke. He will be missed in the area."
James Hughes: "One of life’s gentle and caring humans, a true gentleman and humanitarian, such a varied and interesting life. May he rest in peace."
Mic Jones: "RIP Jim God's just taken the great out our north run. you are a great part of Jarrow's history never to be forgotten."
Steve Tindale: "One of life's nice guys, a true gentleman & a genuine sportsman. RIP Jim."
Katie Duffy: "God bless Jim.Jarra has lost an absolute gentleman. May the legend of Jarra Jim live on."