Father Kevin McIlroy died on Thursday at the age of 80 after battling pancreatic cancer for nearly a decade.

McIlrory, who was born in Ireland but spent most of his life in Australia, was diagnosed with pancreatic tumour cancer in 2010.

In March 2016, he was given a 10-month remission, which was extended twice.

Mr McIlary’s wife, Kathleen, died of cancer in October last year and the couple separated in 2017.

McIlary, of Tully, was described as a “gentle giant” by his wife.

He was the eldest of five children born to his wife, Karen McIlry, a school teacher, and her son Kevin.

Kathleen McIlery said she had never seen her husband so well and was “devastated” to hear of his passing.

“We were close,” she said.

“He was a good man, always positive.

He loved his family and was a big supporter of children’s charities.”

“I’m devastated that I’m not going to see him in the next few days.”

McIlory, of Cottesloe, Tully was a successful construction worker who worked for a number of major firms and was involved in the community.

He and his wife divorced in 1999 and they had two daughters.

The couple had a son, Kevin, who died in 2014.