Beloved "Gold Rush" miner Grandpa John Schnabel dies at age 96

ANCHORAGE -- Fans of the Discovery Channel show "Gold Rush" have learned this weekend that John Schnabel, the grandfather of gold miner Parker Schnabel, died in his sleep on Friday, March 18th. He was 96 years old.

According to his bio page on the Gold Rush web page, John Schnabel didn't start mining for gold until age 68 -- after he suffered heart problems and underwent a triple bypass. The site says, "His doctor recommended that he keep active so John bought the Big Nugget mine and started gold mining. He taught his grandsons Payson and Parker how to prospect, pan and operate equipment and passed on to them his passion for gold mining."