Barrie's million-dollar man, Will Dwyer, dies at 96

Barrie's million-dollar man and Second World War veteran Will Dwyer has passed away.

The Barrie Legion 147 and The Barrie Terry Fox Run confirmed that 96-year-old Dwyer passed away on Sunday.

Dwyer has been a familiar name across Simcoe County after setting and smashing a goal to raise one million dollars for the Terry Fox Foundation in 2019 and 2020.

An initiative near and dear to his heart, Dwyer has participated in the run for cancer research for the past four decades despite recent health issues.

In an interview with CTV News in 2019, Dwyer said that while he never met Terry Fox, he was inspired by the Marathon of Hope back in 1980. "I watched Terry, and it was hard to believe how he could hop along on one leg, and I thought, I gotta get involved."

Recently, Dwyer was battling prostate cancer himself and other issues that kept him in the hospital for weeks last year.

Will's son, Robert Dwyer, carried the torch and continued fundraising efforts while his father was in the hospital.

"Terry Fox was not a quitter, nor was Dad," Robert Dwyer wrote in an email to CTV News. "Will was a true hero."

Will Dwyer raised an impressive $1.2-million for the Terry Fox Foundation over the last 41 years.

With files from CTV's Kim Phillips