COMAL COUNTY, Texas – In honor of 81-year-old Orion Knox Jr., one of the four St. Mary’s University students who discovered what is now the Natural Bridge Caverns, a special commemoration of the legendary caver is planned for the near future, according to a spokeswoman for Natural. Bridge caves.
Knox died at New year’s night.
The family said in a statement that memorial donations could be made to the Texas Cave Management Association and the Texas Wildlife Refuge.
Brad West, president of Natural Bridge Caverns, said Knox took a break from college to develop what is now the largest show cave in Texas and one of the largest in the world, which was under his family’s ranch.
“If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have this,” Wuest said.
West said it was only fitting that Knox chose Natural Bridge Caverns as his last resort as “he considered it one of the greatest achievements of his life,” Wuest said.
“He just had a passion for exploration and discovery,” Wuest said.
Knox continued to research, explore and map the Natural Bridge Caverns, but Wuest also said he would be back “just to see what’s going on”.
He said that Knox’s last caving expedition took place at the age of 78 after a lifetime of exploring and finding caves all over the world.
Wuest said he last saw Knox on December 21 when he was taken on tour and later attended a Christmas concert at the cave.
He said Knox’s legacy was his philosophy: “Never stop exploring life. Never stop making new discoveries.”
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