TikTokers are heartbroken after hearing about the passing of beloved ‘TikTok Grandad” Ronald Williams, who had amassed 9 million dedicated fans on the platform.
Viewers became aware that he was ill in February when his Grandson Ryan posted an emotional video telling fans he wasn’t “doing too good” and asked for their thoughts and prayers.
Sure enough, he appeared to be improving, with Ryan explaining that Ronald’s spirits were high and that he might be able to come out of the ICU soon. He was soon cleared of a blood infection and began physical therapy, although was still suffering from other unknown complications.
In the meantime, his grandson posted compilation videos of other popular TikTokers sending their well-wishes, and some even sent him gifts – Visual Assault Studios sent through an incredible portrait of Ronald himself.
Who was Ronald Williams?
Ronald, also known as Grandpa Lou Pickles, was from La Jolla, California, and became the star of the TikTok account @ronaldwillamsofficial which was run by his grandson Ryan.
At 79, he became an internet sensation amassing more than 9 million followers and over 96 million likes across his videos. He was well known for his love of Jelly Fruits, Woody from Toy Story and he called his followers his ‘grandkids.’
@ronaldwilliamsofficialThanks for the good times. Ronald Williams will never be forgotten 😇 RIP Grandpa 🥺 ##ronaldwilliams ##fyp ##foryou ##xyzbca♬ See You Again (Piano Arrangement) – Alexandre Pachabezian
Ronald arrived home from the hospital on March 15, but only days later on March 24, Ryan revealed that Ronald had sadly passed away, posting a tribute to his grandpa in the form of a video dedicated to their time together.
In a TikTok following this, Ryan said “My grandpa meant so much to me, he taught me how to be myself, he broke my shyness. Nothing would bother this man, he was full of joy. His soul is the purest I’ve ever seen in my life. He was my best friend.
@ronaldwilliamsofficialStitch to honor Ronald Williams 🕊♬ original sound – Ronald Williams
“He’s the best grandpa I could ever ask for and he’s in a better place where he’s not in pain anymore. He loved every single one of you, he did call you his grandkids for a reason because he cared about you a lot. Not only you were happy to see him on these videos, it made him happy to see you happy. ”
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Ronald’s TikTok has been inundated with messages of love and support. Popular TikToker @donaldducc, who has 16 million followers, wrote “Ronald was like the old fashion Donald. He was kind given and amazing. He inspired me into duets. So I’m truly thankful for him and you. RIP Ronald.”
Others also expressed their love with users commenting “he was my grandpa too,” “he made my day better” and “I loved this man to death and every video I saw of him put a smile on my face.”
It’s clear that TikTok’s grandad will be sorely missed by millions.