This is probably the saddest list you’ll read today, but it’s nice to have something to collectively remember our friends who are only with us in digital format now. From natural causes to murder to cancer to a freak tornado accident and 2(!) different train-related deaths, we remember each of these deceased YouTubers not for their demise, but for the joy they brought to fans all over the world. They aren’t numbered because there is no way we could rank the importance of these creators. To us, all of these 13 creators are equally important.
Zach was a musician from Minnesota who had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, at age 14. When he was told he only had a year to live, Zach uploaded the song “Clouds” to the Woolly Rhino YouTube account as a final memory of his life. The video currently has over 11 million views.
Will Norton (WilldaBeast)
Known on his channel WilldaBeast, Will Norton had the tragic circumstance of being caught in the Joplin, MO tornado that ultimately killed 116 people. He was returning from his high school graduation with his father when the tornado yanked him up and out through the sunroof of their H3 Hummer. Will’s body was found weeks later in a pond. He was 18.
Ben Breedlove (BreedloveTV)
Ben started a popular relationship advice channel OurAdvice4You with his friends in 2010. Fond of the YouTube space, he started two other channels: BreedloveTV and TotalRandomness512. At a young age he developed a condition known as HCM, which thickens the heart muscle. He uploaded a video in two parts titled “This Is My Story” about it, which became massive viral successes with over 13 million views total. He passed away from cardiac arrest on Christmas Eve 2011. He was 18. Kid Cudi, touched by Ben’s death, dedicated his third album to Ben.
An animator, Edd ran the popular Eddsworld channel on YouTube from his home in Britain. He’d been diagnosed with cancer in 2006, but was re-diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2011. He abruptly died of the disease in March of 2012. His friends continue to put out animations on his channel in celebration.
A gamer most known for his “Call of Duty” and “Borderlands 2” Let’s Plays, Yoteslaya, whose real name was Brian Rickard, was killed in Oct. 2013 while trying to outrace a train. It’s apparently what you do at 2 am in Indiana. Amazingly, he isn’t the only YouTuber to die attempting this.
Through the Depression Era Cooking show on YouTube, Clara brought an enormous amount of comfort and simple cooking instruction to generations of all ages. Concentrating on frugal meals that Clara learned while actually living through the Great Depression, Clara lived to be 98, likely the oldest YouTube star of them all. She was born in August of 1915 and passed away in November of 2013.
Justin Carmichal (Jew Wario)
Jew Wario aka Justin Carmichal, a gamer who specialized in Japanese import games, died in 2014 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while at home with his wife. Eulogized beautifully on the Angry Joe Show, Justin was a bright and kind star that the world lost far too soon.
Richard Schepp (Morfar)
A single video, posted by Morfar’s girlfriend to his account, simply says “He’s Gone.” In the text-only video she says the cause of death is unknown. It was later determined to be a heart attack. Passing away in January of 2014, Morfar was a gamer known particularly for his horror gaming.
Peter Oakley, the self-proclaimed Granddad of YouTube, was born in 1927 and passed away in 2014. Starting in the early days of YouTube, Oakley ran a channel that really was a bit like a Granddad’s — full of stories and advice and all the things that annoyed him.
Talia Joy Castellano
TaliaJoy18 was a beauty guru who devoted her life to making the world more beautiful. Her YouTube channel was split between makeup tutorials and talking about neuroblastoma and leukemia, the diseases she’d battled for years. She passed away in 2013 at age 13.
A bodybuilder, movie actor and YouTuber, Greg Plitt offered health solutions on his self-named YouTube channel right up until he died in January of 2015. Greg was allegedly trying to outrun a train while dressed as a superhero for an energy drink when he tripped and was killed.
Veneshia Peoples (The Quxxn)
A gamer who went by the handle TheQuxxn, Verneshia emphasized The Sims world in her Let’s Play videos. Allegedly she died from lung issues while in surgery in 2013 (according to fellow YouTuber Choco Cecilie).
Tamisha Ridge (MeeshaTV)
Tamisha (MeeshaTV) has the unfortunate distinction of being the first major YouTuber to be murdered. A style vlogger who did many videos about dealing with hair, Tamisha was murdered in her home by an ex-boyfriend. Though she died in 2014, her family still posts videos to her account in her memory.
No, we didn’t forget about YouTubers like Elliott Rogers and Tamerlan Tsarnaev — we chose not to honor them because of the actions they inflicted on others before their deaths.