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NSS Member Standiford R. (Tank) Gorin Has Died

PostPosted: Jan 31, 2007 8:25 pm
by Larry E. Matthews
Tank Gorin was one of the original founders of the Nashville Grotto in 1953. He was also one of the original developers of Cumberland Caverns.

Tank's NSS number was #478, so he was also one of the very earliest members of the National Speleological Society.

Tank lived in a modest log cabin next to the Cumberland Caverns Ticket Office. He was very happy there, with his caving friends.

Tank died today (Wednesday, January 31, 2007) at about 5 pm in the McMinnville, Tennessee hospital. Roy Davis and Ed Yarbrough were able to visit him this afternoon and say goodbye.

He will be deeply missed by his many caving friends. Funeral arrangements are not known at this time.

Larry E. Matthews
NSS #6792-F

PostPosted: Feb 1, 2007 10:58 am
by Ralph E. Powers
RIP Tank.

Memorial Service For Tank Gorin

PostPosted: Feb 2, 2007 8:34 am
by Larry E. Matthews
A Memorial Service for Tank Gorin will be held tomorrow (Saturday) at High Funeral Home at 2 pm.

I assume that this is in McMinnville, Tennessee. The telephone number for information is (931) 473-2137.

This information was in the Obituary Section of the Nashville Tennesseean newspaper this morning (Friday).

Larry E. Matthews
NSS #6792-F

PostPosted: Feb 2, 2007 8:55 am
by JoeyS
Us youngin's learned a bit anout Tank last night at our grotto meeting. Tank wanted to start a "caving club" in the 40's, problem was he was just a minor and had to get an adult sponsor to do so. He looked up the *one and only* other member of the NSS living in Tennessee, don't remember that name, but anyway, in 1953, the Nashville Grotto was born. Maybe Larry could expand about Tank since he knew him personally, but he sounds like a great guy.
Another tidbit from last night; Tank's grandfather owned the land above Mammoth Cave and sold it to the park service. He also owned Stephen Bishop, the slave who heavily explored Mammoth by torchlight.

Tank Gorin and the Nashville Grotto

PostPosted: Feb 2, 2007 11:25 am
by Larry E. Matthews
Actually Tank was an adult in 1953 when the Nashville Grotto was organized. It is probably Roy Davis you are thinking about, who was a "minor" and a student at David Lipscomb College at the time.

When Roy Davis arrived in Nashville, he used the NSS Membership List to try to find other cavers and founds Tank's name and telephone number and called him up. Tank had a car, and Roy and his friends didn't, so Tank would drive them to many wonderful caves on the weekends.

Today, we think of most people as being an adult at age 18, but back then it was age 21 in most legal regards.

And yes, one of Tank's ancestors, his great-grandfather (?) perhaps, was an owner of Mammoth Cave. One of the highest rooms (domes) in the cave is called Gorins Dome and was named after him at that time.

Larry E. Matthews
NSS #6792-F

PostPosted: Feb 2, 2007 11:50 am
by JoeyS
Yeah, I knew I'd get the story mixed up. But anyway, I think that the editor of Speleonews (Hatch) wants to do a tribute to him in the next issue.

Standiford R. (Tank) Gorin's Obituary

PostPosted: Feb 2, 2007 2:47 pm
by Larry E. Matthews
Here is the obituary from the High Funeral Home website:

GORIN, Standiford R. "Tank" - McMinnville resident and Louisville, KY native Standiford R. Gorin, age 84, was born May 3, 1922 and died January 31, 2007 at River Park Hospital following a short illness. He was retired from Genesco of Nashville, TN where he served as director of technical research and development. Mr. Gorin also helped develop Cumberland Caverns into a major Warren County and Tennessee public attraction. He was a United States Army Veteran of WWII, a member of the Episcopal Church and the son of the late Lewis Jefferson and Standiford Danforth Gorin, Sr. He is survived by five nieces and nephews and ten great nieces and nephews. Funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 3, 2007 in High's Chapel with Roy Davis and Edward Yarbrough officiating. Burial will be in the Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, KY. Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. until time of service Saturday at High's.

Sort of seems fitting that he will be buried in the Cave Hill Cemetery, doesn't it?

Larry E. Matthews
NSS #6792-F

Tank Gorin's Passing

PostPosted: Feb 11, 2007 7:22 pm
by sgorin
My life and that of our family was deeply touched by Tank. I have had a deep interest in caving since my first tour of Mammoth Cave, and then Cumberland Caverns. My legs no longer let me enjoy even taking "gentle" tours, but I still love it!

To clarify, Tank's great-great uncle, Franklin Gorin, was one of the earliest owners of Mammoth Cave and it was Franklin who owned the famous Stephen Bishop.

We will miss him as friend, kin, and will always miss his willingness to share his knowledge of caving - among everything else he excelled in.
Tank gave me a copy of Larry Matthews' excellent book ... I will treasure it beyond words.

Sandi Gorin

A Question For Sandi

PostPosted: Feb 11, 2007 7:50 pm
by Larry E. Matthews
Perhaps Sandi can tell us what Tank's middle initial, "R", stood for.

Somebody asked me off-line, and I didn't know the answer.

Larry E. Matthews
NSS #6792-F

P.S. There is a great photo of Tank at the December 3, 1977 Cumberland Caverns Christmas Party on page 127 of the new Edition of the "Cumberland Caverns" book.

Tank's Middle Name

PostPosted: Feb 11, 2007 7:54 pm
by sgorin
Standiford Rogers Gorin. His mother's maiden name was Standiford Danforth. His father, Lewis Jefferson Gorin Sr was a direct descendant of Edmund Rogers, founder of Edmonton KY and connected with the Rogers, Lewis, Clark families. Tank built a working grist mill in Metcalfe Co KY and it is named Rogers' Mill. He was a man of many talents! Sandi Gorin

Tank's picture

PostPosted: Feb 11, 2007 7:56 pm
by sgorin
Larry, is there anyway I can get a copy of that picture? I am a Gorin family historian and have about 11 books in print on the family. I am ready to start on another one and it will be dedicated to Tank's memory. Most of the pictures I have of Tank were taken the last 15 yrs or so. You can contact me off-line if you would like too.

Photo of Tank Gorin

PostPosted: Feb 11, 2007 8:05 pm
by Larry E. Matthews
Yes, I would be glad to share that photo with you.

Contact me off-line at:

Send me your email address and your mailing address.

The photo is already digitized, and I think Tom Rea, the Editor of the Second Edition, which was published in 2005 could provide you with a copy of that.

Also, I have the original color slide that I could loan to you.

Larry E. Matthews
NSS #6792-F

Re: Standiford R. (Tank) Gorin's Obituary

PostPosted: Feb 12, 2007 8:49 am
by JackW
Larry E. Matthews wrote:Sort of seems fitting that he will be buried in the Cave Hill Cemetery, doesn't it?

Didn't know Tank personally, but form the things written, we lost a good one.

Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville is a neat place, several members of my family are buried there.