When Rupert Wied-Baumgartner took over his family’s textile trading company in 1958, there were 30 fabric shops in Linz. At that time almost everything was still sewn, from everyday clothing to work and holiday clothing, from tablecloths to bed linen. “The Baumgartner scores with quality,” he always said.
He grew up very sheltered with two siblings in Bismarckstraße. On his father’s side he came from the old Linz merchant family Anton Baumgartner, his maternal grandfather was Primar Alexander Brenner, who was largely responsible for the expansion of the general hospital.
Refuge at the Attersee
The children spent the war years in the summer residence in Nußdorf am Attersee, where Rupert also went to school and made friends for life. The love of the sea and then also the enthusiasm for sailing accompanied him throughout his life. After the war he was chosen to take over the house run by his aunt and father. That’s when he got his double name, because his aunt had no children, but she used the name Baumgartner. So that the Baumgartner name would not die out, she adopted Rupert. But the man who grew up as Wied didn’t want to give up his name either, and that’s how Wied-Baumgartner came about.
In 1959 he married Erika Nisslmüller from the gas station and automobile shop in Dametzstraße. The couple had two sons and a daughter, who died young after a serious illness – a stroke of fate that overshadowed Rupert’s life. “We had a nice childhood, our father did a lot of nonsense with us and taught us a lot,” recalls son Matthias. He not only spent his free time with children and grandchildren, friendships were also important to him and he sometimes nurtured them throughout his life. Otherwise he was active in the Wiking Linz rowing club, the Savings Bank Council, the Rotarians and the Chamber of Commerce.
In 1994 Matthias Wied-Baumgartner took over the company. But even in old age, his father was interested in the fabric collections, sales and everything related to the business. As long as he could, he did his mail in the office and was therefore in business almost every day. He didn’t like new methods of communication, he still wanted to dictate letters and send faxes.
Age was getting to him more and more, in the last five years he could no longer leave his home and was dependent on care. Rupert Wied-Baumgartner died on February 28 at the age of almost 89. The memorial service will take place on Saturday, March 11 at 11 a.m. in the Old Cathedral.