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Friends stepping up for man who died from COVID-19

Posted at 12:17 AM, Apr 15, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Friends of a man who lost his life to COVID-19 are rushing to help his family.

Mark Williams, better known as "Big Daddy," was once a bouncer at Cole's in the Elmwood Village. He's been around the bar for a long time. Befriending the now owner, Mike Shatzel, the owner of Cole’s.

“The guy everybody wanted to be around, every night,” said Shatzel.

Later in life, Bill Miller became his friend.

“Probably the best friend you could ever have,” said Miller.

Earlier this month, Williams tested positive for COVID-19. This past Monday, he died in the ICU. His family was already devastated by the virus.

“His mom is still hanging on in ICU on a ventilator. So, it's been really tough and then to make matters worse his older brother, Michael, passed away from COVID in November,” explained Shatzel.

His friends rallying around Williams and his family. A GoFundMe set up for funeral expenses, and to get his daughter through college.

“It's a shame that he's not here to feel the love that's out there for him,” said Shatzel.

The virus is still taking lives, but the friends of Mark 'Big Daddy' Williams are stepping up. Not remembering what took his life, but how he lived his life.

“Lead with kindness. Be positive, you know. You never know when something like this could happen,” said Miller.