A Central Alberta man who went viral on TikTok in his late-80s has died.
Bill Clark, known on his grandson-in-law Matt Mychajliv’s Tiktok account as “Grandpa Bill,” recently passed away at the age of 89 this past Saturday.
In April 2020, Mychajliv posted a video online, featuring Clark singing and dancing to the Ringo Starr song You’re Sixteen. To date, the video has accumulated more than 300,000 views.
@cdnmatt #foryou #foryoupage #lacombe #canada #grandpabill #sing #singing #dancing #covid19 #quarantine #positive #positivevibes #happydancechallenge ♬ original sound – CdnMatt
Several other Grandpa Bill videos posted on the same account have thousands of views, including two others with more than 30,000 each.
Sarah Mychajliv, Clark’s granddaughter, said she’ll always remember how positive of a person her grandfather was.
“He was just as wholesome in real life as he was in the videos,” said Mychajliv.
“He had patience for everybody. It didn’t matter who they were, he always had a joke, a story or a conversations to share with anybody.”
Clark was an entertainer through and through, said Mychajliv.
“He was almost on the radio, but then a teaching career came along. He pursued teaching instead for a while, but he always practiced songs and wrote jokes,” she said.
“My whole life, he’s always done these little numbers and when the technology started being something that everyone was using … it was natural to start filming him.”
It was “amazing” to see the reaction Clark’s videos were getting online, said Mychajliv.
“He started getting recognized more in town, like the banker would say, ‘Oh I’ve seen your TikTok,’” she said. “I couldn’t take him anywhere in public without somebody recognizing him from the internet or dancing in the park in Lacombe.”
Clark also participated in several community events, including a stand-up comedy event to raise money and gather donations for the local food bank.
“The community of Lacombe has really been just as good to him as he was to them. They helped support him and make him feel at home. He was welcomed everywhere and was truly everyone’s Grandpa Bill. He left a good legacy,” she said.
Clark’s funeral service is being planned – more information on when it will happen will be available later this month. Wilson Funeral Chapel and Crematorium in Lacombe is arranging the service.
Donations can be made to the SPCA and the Lacombe Food Bank in honour of Clark.
—With files from Black Press News Services