GSTAADLIFE, 18. December 2015

Page 19

Peter Notz, 1925–2015 Peter Notz, who for many was the face of glamorous Gstaad, passed away on 7 September 2015.

Photos: Archiv / GL

Gstaad Bids Farewell to Beloved Icon


Notz was born into a wealthy family; his father owned the top steel-producing firm in Switzerland. He was a first-rate student at MIT, one of the best universities worldwide, where he graduated with honours. Notz then managed a wide variety of businesses, interests spanning the Notz name and beyond. Fashionable Notz was the epitome of jet set–but despite his international lifestyle and multiple homes he favoured life in Gsteig, where he enjoyed skiing and other mountain activities. A self-described “bon vivant”, Notz drew many celebrity friends to the Saanenland, including Gunther Sachs and Brigitte Bardot. Those who knew Notz say he was in love with love. Married four times, he is survived by his former wives, including local resident Brigitta Notz, and five children. Longtime friend Januaria Piromallo shares her memories in this tribute: Without Peter Notz, Gstaad will never be the same. Peter made Gstaad! When he arrived 70 years ago, it was just a beautiful mountain village–he brought the jet-set and glittering glamour to its slopes. I was lucky; I was one of the last ones to see him. Clarina, his only daughter stood next to him as he lay with a sweet smile on his face. He held a bar in his hands that was attached to the bed, doing gentle pull ups. "He is waterskiing," teased Clarina, tenderly. His was a full life–five children and four wives. Now, at the end, stood Brigitta (mother of his son Cédric, a former Swiss ski champion), caressing his hand. Although they divorced, Brigitta was there for him until the very end. We talked about silly subjects, and named three iconic movies never to be forgotten. Peter only chose romantic movies: Casa-

Peter Notz with his children (left to right) Cédric, Clarina, and Justin.

blanca, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Gone with the Wind.

“At least no one is immune,” he reassured me, “We all suffer from women.”

I have a debt of gratitude to Peter, as I was invited by him (and Brigitta, of course) 25 years ago to Gstaad. It was my first time, and I immediately fell in love with it. And, with my charming local prince, Knautschi. That began the best chapter of my life.

Peter was a kind man. When his energy was waning, it was as if life bit him. Like a dog that has been caressed too long.

Peter’s eyes were always full of wonder, like a young Peter Pan. Until last year he was still skiing up and down the Wassengrat (Peter would have been 90 in October!) and Brigitta used to joke, "He skis better than he walks!" His mind was still full of potential projects, and he was never fed up with life, not for a single moment. At the beginning and the end of every season he would give the workers at the chairlifts of the Wassengrat a bottle of wine and a fine cigar. Peter really was the quintessential face of kindness, and much beloved by both locals and guests. I loved taking the chairlift with him and listening to his wonderful stories. I would even dream of hearing him speak about the 1960’s, as seen from the inside of the gold bubble in which he lived. Peter told me of his close friendship with Gunter Sachs and his wife Brigitte Bardot. He confirmed that even the most legendary playboy had his headaches with women.

Until the last grain of sand had slipped from the hourglass of his life, Peter did not lose his grace. At the end, at his bedside, he turned his face. I looked to where his eyes gazed, staring at the immaculate mountain peaks of Les Diablerets. Peter my dear, I know you will find the same beauty wherever you are now. An infinite blue Wasserngrat sky, and a "Tiger run" to Paradise. Ciao Peter. I will never forget you. Januaria

Peter and Brigitta Notz in the 1970's



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