In a statement today per People Magazine, it was announced that “Gold Rush” star John Schnabel, the family patriarch at the center of the series, the owner of the Big Nugget mine and grandfather of cast members Parker Schnabel and Payson Schnabel, has passed away at the age of 96. The family released the following statement about it to the aforementioned publication:
“We couldn’t have asked for a better father, grandfather and overall family man … He was a true legend and we appreciate all of your love and support as we celebrate his wonderful life.”
As a way to properly honoring Schnabel, the network is planning to air a marathon of the show next Friday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern card, one that will feature a memorial card. Meanwhile, there will also be a special entitled “Gold Rush Legends: Parker Schnabel” that will be airing at 9:00. Both should provide opportunities to see precisely why so many people enjoyed watching John during the time in which he was on the show. We feel like part of the reason why many discovery stars are so popular is that they are often no-frills and aren’t really looking for the fame in the way that reality personalities may be elsewhere. They’re often relatable, funny, and different. This is one of the many reasons why “Gold Rush” in particular became a ratings sensation to a network in Discovery that has so many other shows that are set either in Alaska or off the beaten path.
For now, let’s just all send our heartfelt condolences to the entire Schnabel family; our thoughts are with all of them during what has to be a difficult time. Hopefully they will find the perfect way to tribute John for years to come.