Orion Knox Jr. continued to explore and survey the caverns over the years and participated in a caving expedition at the age of 78.
SAN ANTONIO — One of the discoverers of Natural Bridge Caverns has passed away at the age of 81.
Orion Knox Jr. died on Dec. 31 after a battle with Parkinson’s. Natural Bridge Caverns said it prevented him from continuing to go caving, but it never diminish his spirit.
One of the discoverers in 1960, Knox also helped develop the caverns by installing pathways and lights. Since the discovery, millions have visited Natural Bridge Caverns.
He continued to explore and survey the caverns over the years and participated in a caving expedition as recent as 2019 at the age of 78, the organization said. "We often consulted with Orion when planning caving expeditions, tapping into his experience and incredible memory about details of remote areas he explored."
Knox and his wife, Jan, recently visited the caverns during the holiday season to see the progress of the Hidden Wonders development project.
"We are so grateful we were able to share that special time together," the organization said. "Orion’s legacy of exploration and discovery lives on at Natural Bridge Caverns. We will miss him deeply but are comforted knowing he is now at peace and making new discoveries in Heaven."