Gold Rush patriarch John Schnabel died Friday morning at the age of 96. His grandson, Parker Schnabel, shared word of his passing via social media.
— Alaska Dispatch News (@adndotcom) March 19, 2016
Several hours later, Parker shared yet another tribute to the Gold Rush legend.
John Schnabel owned the Big Nugget Mine near Haines, which is located in Southeast Alaska–as featured in Discovery’s Gold Rush. He first suffered heart problems at the age of 68, undergoing a triple bypass at that time. His doctor recommended he stay busy, so he bought the mine, and set about teaching his two grandsons how to prospect, pan, and operate the equipment used in gold mining.
Haines, Alaska’s mayor, Janice Hill, expressed sorrow over the Gold Rush patriarch’s passing.
“Everywhere I went today people were sharing the news and expressing their condolences,” she said.
Hill grew up with John Schnabel’s children. She said at some point in time most everyone in Haines was involved in John Schnabel’s businesses.
“We all do what we need to do in order to live here, because we want to live here,” she said. “And he certainly fit that lifestyle.”
— People Magazine (@people) March 18, 2016
It’s clear that John Schnabel was a legend and that he will be sorely missed–not only by his family, but from the townspeople, too.
In memoriam of Grandpa John Schnabel. Thank you for everything, Grandpa.https://t.co/r3l3IL6gXv
— Gold Rush (@Gold_Rush) March 19, 2016
John Schnabel was honored by Discovery, the network that produces Gold Rush, ahead of a two-hour airing of the show on Friday night.