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[POST YOUR THOUGHTS HERE BY CLICKING THE LINK "Our Memories of Berit" if you are on the main page. After clicking the link you will see a space for comments below that says "Reply to this" where you can share your words, memories, stories and pictures..]

For those of us at Untours, there are no words to describe our love and sorrow at the passing of Berit Greutert.

For me personally, I believe that, 30 some odd years ago, if it had not been for her amazing graciousness, her love of fun and, therefore, her trust in the oddball, Harold Taussig, and his crazy idea of Untours, we would have never gotten this unconventional travel company off the ground. But her role as one of the founding hosts of Untours is a tiny drop of what she means to us.

Like Vance, I have lost a combination of mother, sister and most amazing friend. Every molecule of Berit knew joy and knew how to meet every situation with her incredible fun-detector. Everyday, I look at my life differently because of her, and see if, no matter what the circumstances are, I cannot find some laughter or kindness that I can add to the situation. I could not have known how to infuse that spirit into all of life had I not had the privilege of living in Berit's house for many summers. She has been my north star of happiness. Her death brings sadness, but it does not rob me of the gift she has been to my life.

If you knew Berit, we would really love it, if you could add a comment here on this discussion, or upload a picture (just click the tiny icon of a camera at the top of the comment box) . If we assemble all the memories, all love that so many of us felt, into one spot, it will help us remember that, in the most lasting ways, she is not gone from us, nor as long as we remember her, will she ever be.

Marilee Taussig

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This is from Bob Miller, via Idyllchat:

I believe Berit was the first overseas Untours employee anywhere. What a stroke of luck when Hal Taussig discovered and hired her (and incidentally her husband, Albert). Berit never met a stranger. She immediately took to the thousands of Untourists who visited Switzerland and made them feel right at home. Let me cite a couple of instances. In 2001 I led a group of 28 members of my Old Timers Hiking Club on a Swiss Untour. Although we were staying in Kandersteg, quite distant from Sachseln, Berit sent an invitation for all to visit Sachseln and accompany her and Albert on a hike up a nearby mountain where she prepared a typical Swiss mountain lunch for all. Then in 2005 while we were staying in one of the Greutert apartments, Berit discovered that Doris and my 62nd wedding anniversary was coming up and she arranged a surprise dinner party for us. That was Berit-- always thoughtful, always hospitable and always an amusing and humorous hostess.

Indeed, a light has gone out in the Heartland.

Bob Miller
I did not have the privilege of meeting Berit but her spirit is known to me from those of you who did. I share in the loss of the rare and wonderful energy she shred with the world.

Janet Dieman
I consider myself so fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Berit and Albert last summer when my mother and I stayed in their Studio Albert for two wonderful weeks. As I have been reading, I can attest that, indeed, Berit must never known a stranger. She was so gracious and she made me feel like a friend. My heart goes out to the other "nicest person in the whole world" - Albert. A light has dimmed with her passing, but the world is surely a brighter place with the spark of life she shared with so many. With love and respect to the Greutert family, Carol Cavena and Boots Franke
Carol and Boots: You stayed in 'my' Studio Albert. Isn't it the most wonderful little 'home' in Switzerland! Berit/Albert were my first Untours' hosts in Switzerland in 2004 and I returned every year for 5 years, then on to explore another part of Untours Switzerland for two weeks. Unfortunately, due the economy, I have taken a year off from traveling, but plan to return to Sachseln next summer. Yes, Berit certainly was a marvelous person and Albert is wonderful, too. Since I was traveling solo, they seemed to include me in many things. I always had dinner with them several times during my stays in Studio Albert and Berit was forever bringing me some 'extra' cake or salad or something.... Having been there, am sure you, too, enjoyed breakfast on the terrace and enjoyed evenings there overlooking the lake (well, you have to stand up to really see the lake!) after a wonderful day of adventure in the Alps. Thinking of Berit, Albert and Sachseln especially today, as I would normally be leaving for my annual visit there this evening (if this is a turn over day in 2009?). I always liked going mid-August to mid-September. Ciao, Mary Darmstaetter, Boston
This is what I wrote the last time we saw Berit and Albert in 2004:

"Berit insisted on driving us to the Luzern train station so we would have an easier time with the luggage. We left with Albert and stopped in Sarnen to pick up Berit. She had an early appointment for physical therapy. She's on medication, blood thinner, and receives cortisone shot in order to maintain her muscle strength. We loaded the luggage onto the train at 10:55am. Berit said that upon arrival at Zurich Airport, we should go up one level to Level 3, where our luggage can be checked. Sadness overwhelmed us as we gave them one last hug before boarding the train. How can anyone not love these two people. We envy anyone who is a member of their family".

This is how we'd like to remember Berit, her beaming face at the kitchen window asking us how our day went. Swiss Heartland Untour 2004


Our first Swiss Heartland Untour, 2002. Left to right: Bill Kover, Berit Greutert, Albert Greutert and Eleanor Kover. Berit and Albert, two of the nicest people we have ever met. Before our first trip in 2002, Berit called us long distance from Switzerland to welcome us. That really impressed us. She was the one who convinced us to return in 2004 for a month rather than just two weeks. We followed her advice and had a fantastic trip that year.


This is one of my favorite photos of Berit and Albert, taken during our one month 2004 Swiss Heartland Untour.


This is what I wrote about the party at the Gasthaus Bahnhof:
"From left to right are Elisabeth von Moos, Simon Enz, and Berit. Berit told us that the previous day (April 16, 2004) was Francy Douglas-Breon's birthday. Francy is part of Idyll's Swiss staff. Happy Birthday to Francy!"


Eleanor with Albert and Berit prior to the party at Gasthaus Bahnhof.

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