Sandra Bullock's Dad Was 'In Good Spirits' Days Before Tragic Death

Sep. 27 2018, Updated 7:33 p.m. ET

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A long-time friend of Sandra Bullock’s dad said her father bravely soldiered on in the weeks leading up to his death from bad health.

“I went to see him, you could tell he was going down, he was 93,” said Jimmy Koikos of his last visit with John Bullock about six weeks before he passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

“He was in good spirits, we laughed, we talked,” Koikos exclusively tells RadarOnline.

Koikos owns the Brite Star Restaurant in Bessemer, Al., 15 miles outside of Birmingham, John’s hometown which he returned to after the death of his sister, Mary Spencer, in 2009.

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The restaurant owner says he and John became friends about 15 years ago and that “there wasn’t a better man than John Bullock.”

“He was a first-class gentleman!”

Koikos says that he received “thousands” of letters” over the years from John, a military veteran who had a hand in managing his superstar daughter’s career and was head of the Fortis Films production company she set up.

Despite his involvement, John never relied on Sandra’s celebrity to better himself, Koikos insists. “He never used Sandra Bullock for anything, never.”

John’s ailing health comes as no surprise.

Back in 2015, The National ENQUIRER reported John was having severe health issues related to a farm accident that occurred in Virginia years ago. At the time, Sandra’s father was crushed by a tractor, a dreadful incident which resulted in several broke bones and other disorders.

As Radar previously reported, Sandra, a busy mom of two, rushed to her dad’s side and quietly was a “full-time nurse” during his final months at his home in Birmingham. Sandra had already lost her mother Helga to cancer in 2000.

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Recently, however, John’s maladies began getting worse, so much that he was rushed to a local Alabama hospital to get treatment.

Koikos says John was receiving “around-the-clock” care, and that his visit was limited to about 30 minutes.

“Then it was time to go. After that, they wouldn’t let anybody go in there.”

John died “surrounded by family and friends,” wrote Sandra’s longtime boyfriend, Bryan Randall, on Instagram Wednesday, along with a sweet photo of John.

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