Gertrude de Ponton d’Amecourt, Washington hostess and real estate broker, dies at 102

September 19, 2012

Gertrude de Ponton d’Amecourt, an Austrian native who settled in Washington during World War II and became a prominent hostess and real estate broker for more than six decades, died Sept. 15 at her home in the District. She was 102 and had a heart ailment.

The death was confirmed by her daughter Nicole d’Amecourt.

Mrs. d’Amecourt was born Gertrude Zinner on May 24, 1910, in Vienna. Her father worked as a banker; her mother ran a shop that made the bridal linen collections known as trousseaux.

Mrs. d’Amecourt came to the United States in 1941 with her husband, Albert de Ponton d’Amecourt, a French viscount and military aviator who was stationed in Washington as military attache at the French embassy. Through her marriage, Mrs. d’Amecourt became a viscountess. She was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1954.

During and after World War II, Mrs. d’Amecourt hosted many European emigres and other dignitaries, her home “rivaling many diplomatic missions in Washington,” according to the Austrian Press and Information Service.


During and after World War II, Gertrude de Ponton d’Amecourt hosted many European emigres and other dignitaries, her home “rivaling many diplomatic missions in Washington,” says the Austrian Press and Information Service. (Courtesy of Family photo)

Mrs. d’Amecourt began working in real estate in the mid-1940s and several years later opened her own business, d’Amecourt Real Estate, which dealt largely in high-end homes and diplomatic properties.

She also operated several Washington art galleries over the years and in the early 1950s ran a Georgetown gift shop, the Golden Egg. She retired when she was in her early 80s.

Mrs. d’Amecourt served on committees with organizations including the Washington National Opera, the Washington International Piano Arts Council and Arts for the Aging, her daughter said.

Her first marriage, to Jean Jacques Tagnard, ended in divorce. She and d’Amecourt also divorced. Survivors include three children from her second marriage, John d’Amecourt of Stephens City, Va., and Nicole d’Amecourt and Guy d’Amecourt, both of Washington; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Emily Langer is a reporter on The Washington Post’s obituaries desk. She has written about national and world leaders, celebrated figures in science and the arts, and heroes from all walks of life.
Most Read Local