Gold Rush’s Parker Schnabel updates fans on his grandpa’s health

Gold Rush Parker Schnabel and Grandpa John Schnabel photo

Anyone watching the current season of Gold Rush on Discovery knows that Parker Schabel’s 94-year-old grandpa John Schnabel has been battling cancer, and after the first half of the two-part Season 4 finale aired Friday night, many fans were left wondering how John is doing now. Just moments ago Parker posted an update letting fans know his Grandpa is doing better and “has great spirits,” which seems to always be the case with John Schnabel!

Gold Rush Parker Schnabel's Grandpa John Schnabel

Here’s the full update from Parker, who is returning to Alaska as I type after making an appearance at the 2014 CONEXPO-CON/AGG:

My grandpa is doing well. He still has cancer but has responded well to the radiation and chemo therapy that he has been on and if you saw him you would never know he has an issue. We just celebrated his 94th birthday a few weeks ago and it was great. He has great spirits, friends and family. Thank you all for the kind words and prayers.

UPDATE – On August 19, 2014 Parker updated fans again on how his dad John Schnabel is doig, and once more it was good news. “Sorry I’ve been so out of touch,” Parker writes. “The season is going well, a lot of exciting things have been happening but we have been working like dogs. My grandpa is good and I have been able to spend some quality time with him this summer.” And he also responded to someone who asked about John Schnabel on Twitter:

That is such great news to hear! I watch A LOT of reality television and I can’t think of anyone as good-natured and perpetually joyful as John — and that doesn’t even touch on the amount of respect I have for him for gold mining successfully for sooo many decades. We wish John all the best with his battle and hope that we will get to continue to see his smile and hear his infectious laughter for many more seasons to come!

Here’s a touching clip in which John Schnabel reveals it is his dream to look for gold at Smith Creek with his two grandsons:

And just in case you were wondering if John’s infectious mirth was always as contagious as it is now, check out this hilarious wedding announcement for his marriage to Erma Cordes in 1950 put together by Erma’s sister:

Gold Rush Parker Schnabel's Grandpa John Schnabel wedding announcement 1950 throwback photo

“No good varmint!” 🙂

Of course, I think Parker put it better:


The second half of the two-part Gold Rush Season 4 finale airs Friday, March 14 at 9/8c on Discovery.

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  • Jojobobo

    Good to hear Grandpa John is still kicking around.

  • Spencer cheney

    I think the best guy on the whole show… John seems to bring a smile to my wife and I and his laugh is refreshingly real. Hope you beat this disease and find that gold you always knew was there…

  • Frank

    We are SO happy to hear John is doing so well. Please let him know we are ALL pulling for him!

  • Mary

    I love the wedding announcement and the whole Schnabel family. A great example of a hard working, loving family. Parker is the spitting image of Grandpa John, so cute! Bet there are a lot of moms trying to fix Parker up with their daughters 🙂 Gold Rush is one of our favorite shows, thanks Discovery Channel.

  • ConstantCompanion

    So happy to hear the good news. We’re pullin’ for ya John! Sending prayers..

  • That is funny, “the no good varmint”.
    He has a very good countenance.

  • Mark

    God Bless you John Schnabel. You’re such a joy to watch on the Gold Rush show. Here’s to your good health and to mining with your Grandson’s. Smith Creek has already brought you riches beyond what mere Gold ever could.

    • Robin

      Amen we love the whole family but love grand pa the most!!! Keep mining

  • Wayne Baumann

    My father walked away from the chemo and radiation and I would like to meet him and tell him face to face how my dad cured his cancer…

  • Gold Rush fan

    So glad to hear is doing well.

  • Cheryl C

    Can hardly wait for the new season to begin! I have never missed an episode since the show started. Parker, his grandpa John and the entire Schnabel family are the whole reason I watch. Parker and his grandpa make me laugh and can also bring me to tears. It’s refreshing to see such a close bond they both share and of course, their passion of the quest for gold!!!! Good luck in the coming season. Stay well Grandpa John the show would not be the same without you!!!

  • Martin Brennan

    hi Parker and John its great to hear you are doing well, Parker these old guys you can’t beat them , it just goes to show that good honest hard work and the outdoor life doesn’t do any one any harm just you get to live longer, My Dad is 91 and still going strong he was a farmer all his life people of your granddad’s generation saw really hard times with wars and all the rest of it we do have to look after them no matter what, our best regards from Ireland! Martin Brennan and Family

  • Tom lisett

    I too have had prostate cancer but have beaten the disease. Grandpa John is an inspiration God bless from Taunton, somerset UK

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  • robert

    John and Parker,
    Thank you so much for telling us your awesome story and raising our faith and spirit that there really is some good left in this world. You guys should start off the evening news every day!
    John you are truly blessed to have such a brilliant young prodigy following in your footsteps. What a wonderful job you have done with your family.
    Parker, you are a rock star!! Outstanding job man, just awesome.

  • liz

    I heart Grandpa Schnable 🙂

  • Julie

    My mother in laws maiden name is Schnabel, I wonder if you all might be a distant relation ?

  • Randy

    I recenty added meeting John Schnabel to my bucket list.

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  • Tammy

    I think Mr. John is a great man and role model! So glad he is doing well and praying for him!!!

  • Double D

    I have been riding my motorcycle for 43 years. I never thought I would be watching or having any favorite tv shows. I was never a TV person. This show with young Parker when he was 16. Gave me faith in our youth not being afraid to get down and dirty. Grandpa he is the best.He taught is Grandson well. I wish then both Good health and I hope Young Parker hits Gold this year. Good Luck

  • julia jasmine

    He will be missed on gold Rush. RIP ?

  • Texan Rock

    Sorry to see granpa left everyone. God bless and miss you granpa