On Sunday, Tex Kelly, who goes by the username @texandjohn on TikTok, announced that his father John Kelly, who frequently featured in his TikTok videos, had died.
Tex announced his father’s passing in a TikTok video, in which he had compiled numerous clips of himself and his fellow TikTok star.
“You’ll always be my hero. Until next time Dad. I love you so much,” Tex captioned the clip, which has since been viewed more than 7.6m times.
On the pair’s account, where they had accumulated more than 2.6m followers, Tex also linked to a GoFundMe page announcing his father’s death, where he called John’s passing a “surprise”.
“Hi, I’m John Kelly’s son, Tex. It comes with a great pain to let you all know today about the loss of an incredible man. Dad’s passing was a surprise to us all and something that we will be feeling the toll of for a very long time,” Tex wrote on the crowdfunding site. “John Kelly lived an amazing life, full of hard work and love. He was never negative and as many of you have experienced personally with him, he was always someone you wanted to be around because he made you feel special and loved. He was a great father, son, brother, and friend to countless people.”
Tex then revealed that his family is struggling to pay for hospital bills and expenses, with the TikTok star asking fans and followers to consider donating if they are “able to do so”.
As of Monday, the GoFundMe has raised more than $21,000, surpassing the $15,000 goal set up by Tex.
The news of John’s passing has also prompted an outpouring of heartfelt comments from TikTok users sharing their condolences.
“I am so sorry for your loss! Your family has been a blessing and joy to watch and I send you my deepest condolences,” one of the pair’s followers commented on TikTok.
Another said: “I am so glad he spent the last year creating these memories that will always be here for you to look at. You truly made millions fall in love with him.”
“Thank you for sharing him with us. My heart breaks for you and your family. May his memories be a blessing when you need one,” someone else wrote.
According to Insider, the pair set up their TikTok account in January 2021, with the account dedicated to prank videos as well as heartfelt clips about their close relationship.
The Independent has contacted Tex for comment.
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