Colin Pullan set up the charity Take Heart which over the years has raised more than £3m for the Leeds Heart Centre.
An ambulance driver in Leeds, Colin discovered he needed heart bypass surgery in 1988.
Following the operation, he was surprised that there would be no follow-up after six weeks. After befriending others in the same position, he set up a support group for former cardiac patients in Leeds. This would soon become the charity fundraising group Take Heart.
Alec McLean, Treasurer of Take Heart said: "Small donations were made and the first things bought were exercise machines and patients were invited to a course of keeping fit after their surgery.
"Take Heart grew rapidly and every donation has been spent on the heart patients, wards and staff of the Yorkshire Heart Centre in LGI.
"Thousands of people have expressed grateful thanks to Colin and he will be sadly missed."
The charity now provides free bedside TV and phone calls for all heart inpatients, as well as medical equipment for staff and even furniture and decor for the heart wards. It also offers free accommodation for out-of-town relatives of heart surgical patients.
In 2002, Colin was awarded an MBE by The Queen at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace.
In 2013, the charity surpassed £3m raised for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.
Colin passed away in St James’ Hospital on Friday, April 8. He leaves wife Mary and daughter Jackie.