Herwig Brandstatter

Herwig Rudolf Brandstatter

Friday, December 22nd, 1939 - Wednesday, April 21st, 2021
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Herwig Rudolf Brandstatter died peacefully at age 81 at Centre Crest on the morning of April 21, 2021 with his son Bernd and Daughter -in - Law Amy by his side.

Growing up in his hometown of Kapfenberg, Austria, Herwig preferred causing trouble with his childhood friends to dedicating himself to his school studies. In one infamous episode, he used a shotgun to shoot out the lights at the local train station. Another prank involved ordering 50 Schnitzels from a local restaurant with no intention to pick them up. Eventually his disciplinary record landed him in parochial school in Horn, Austria. However, Herwig left Horn far from rehabilitated. Dreams of traveling the world inspired him to enroll in Culinary and Hotel Management School. A few years and several girlfriends later, Herwig landed a job as a bartender in the luxury Elbow Beach Resort in Bermuda. Scuba diving, scooter riding and mixing drinks made for some of Herwig’s best memories.

After a stint selling life insurance in L.A., Herwig finally made his way back to Austria when he was hired as the hotel manager at the “Iglerhof”, a luxury mountain resort in Igls, Austria. It was there he met his future wife, Gundi whom he married in 1971. The two traveled the world, enjoying the high life from skiing in St. Moritz to gambling in Monte Carlo. He also enjoyed hunting with his brother Bernd and cousin Richard in the family forest. Not one to shy away from risk, Herwig took up skeleton racing as a hobby. Gundi and Herwig went on to raise two children, Uta and Bernd, who later joined them on their travels.

In 1981, Herwig decided to open a bakery in Brisbane, Australia. The family first made a stop in State College to visit Herwig’s good friend from his Elbow Beach days, Heinz Mathis. Needless to say, the family never made it to Australia and Herwig spent the rest of his life here in Happy Valley.

A mountain of a man with a personality to match, Herwig has been a fixture on the State College restaurant scene since his arrival in the United States in 1981. Beginning with the original Herwig’s Edelweiss Restaurant and the ski area then known as “Ski Mont”, Herwig thrived on impressing his customers with delicious Wienerschnitzel and his uninhibited yodeling. For some time he and Gundi also owned “Universe Travel”, a popular local travel agency. Herwig prided himself on being able to help business and leisure travelers plan their journeys abroad – often to destinations he himself had travelled to. When the travel agency business was replaced by online bookings, Herwig turned his attention back to cooking and opened “Herwig’s Austrian Bistro” downtown State College along with son Bernd and wife Gundi. Giant servings of Austrian food mixed with a dose of yodeling met his loyal customer base when they entered the restaurant.

Herwig’s hobbies included gardening, entertaining, cooking and eating, and – much to his children’s dismay – watching Fox news. He also enjoyed teasing his daughter Uta about her vegetarianism and sneaking meat into the dishes he cooked for her.

After Gundi passed away in 2013, Herwig experienced a series of health problems himself. He spent his later years at Eagle Valley Assisted Living in Milesburg and Centre Crest in Bellefonte. Herwig’s family is grateful to the staff of these facilities for caring for him when he could no longer live independently and required more skilled care. While Herwig’s strength dwindled, he maintained his colorful language and stubborn determination.

A celebration of Herwig’s life will be announced at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Wetzler Funeral Service, Inc. in Bellefonte.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that Herwig’s friends enjoy a shot of Schnapps in Herwig’s memory. Prost!
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Private at the convenience of the family
    206 N. Spring Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Burkhard Bichler

Posted at 07:22am
Liebe Uta und Bernd!
Ich werde Onkel Herwig immer in sehr guter Erinnerung behalten. Es war immer sehr lustig mit ihm. Hoffentlich sehen wir uns bald. 🙏 Alles Liebe aus der Leutasch, Tirol, Österreich
Burkhard mit Familie 😏

Henry Pisciotta

Posted at 07:01am
Thanks, Brandy, for bringing delight to so many of us. You too Bernd.

Francine Douglas

Posted at 10:08am
He always had something to say when he came in to do his banking. My sympathies for the loss of your father and father-in-law. He is someone that you will always remember.

Alicia Lentz

Posted at 12:14pm
Before we knew Brandy we knew his yodel, making us laugh when we heard radio ads for his mountainside restaurant. Then we heard the yodel in the alleyway when Herwig's first opened. He created a space for good food and good times, a blessing for friends and family. We celebrate his life with Tony's Southern appreciation for bigger-than-life characters who make life enjoyable, even in times of trouble. We have a library of family photos from birthdays, wedding rehearsals, and celebrations with good friends, beginning at the day when the College Ave. Bistro opened by the cutting of the sausage rather than a mere ribbon. A good man who lived well, and left good times in his wake. I look forward to seeing him in the Oktoberfest Wing of Heaven some day. We are sad at his passing, but grateful for his presence in our lives and hearts. Tony and Alicia Lentz

Karen Reed

Posted at 11:35am
What a joyous reunion it was for Gundi now that her Liebchen Herwig has joined her! Our sincere condolences to your family who are grieving and may you find comfort in the many memories you have of your father. Finding Herwig’s in State College where delicious, genuine, Austrian food was served with the personal humor and occasional yodel was a treasured experience. Kirsch Schnappes in his memory. Prost! Karen and Dick Reed

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