Accident takes Gayl Bertagni's life

By Ron Swarner on May 24, 2009


Gayl The Swiss' staff annual weekend camp out near Packwood ended in tragedy Friday night. Gayl Bertagni, co-owner of The Swiss pub in downtown Tacoma, was tragically killed while trying to stop her truck from rolling. The News Tribune has the full story here.

I learned of Gayl's death early Saturday morning. Stunned and devastated, I was too shaken to put my thoughts into words. I still am. Gayl was my friend.

I was there when she, Bob Hill and Jack McQuade opened The Swiss in 1993. And it was at their short-lived Hotel Bar & Grill on Pacific Avenue earlier this decade when I really got to know Gayl. She was hoping to let her kitchen talents run wild in the new environment. I dropped by often to chat about her food direction, and she would give me constructive criticism on the Weekly Volcano, and my clothes.

Since her tragic death, many have discussed Gayl's motherly nature, toward The Swiss "family" and friends. I concur.

On behalf of everyone at Swarner Communications, I extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Gayl Bertagni.

I will miss you Gayl. May you rest in peace. 

Photo: A shrine has been errected outside the front door of The Swiss. The Swiss is closed today and tomorrow.