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If a Mercedes-Benz pulls up next to you, it may be Heinz Gietz

Heinz Gietz is a native of Frankfurt, Germany. His mechanical background includes specialized schooling in Mercedes-Benz automobiles, and he has supervised the service departments of leading Mercedes-Benz dealerships throughout the country.

Heinz, now in his 90s, remains an active leader in San Diego’s German community. He was one of the founding fathers of the German American Societies of San Diego in 1965, and he served as its president for the first five years.

Since it was established, Heinz played a key role in the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, serving as president of the San Diego chapter from 1972 to 1974. To this day, he stays involved by volunteering and displaying his Mercedes-Benz automobiles at events in and around San Diego.

Heinz is married to Ilse. The couple has one adult daughter, Sonja, and an adult grandson, Dieter Heinz.

What brought you to La Jolla?

It was the beauty of this seaside community and the opportunity for Mercedes-Benz service in the heart of La Jolla.

What makes this town special to you?

The relationships built of 40 years that still remain today, and the breath-taking sunsets on the shores of La Jolla.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

More Mercedes-Benz in and around La Jolla.

Who or what inspires you?

After 61 years of marriage, my wife Ilse is still my inspiration.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Pope Benedict XVI, who is a native of Bavaria; Neil Morgan, past editor of the San Diego Tribune newspaper who encouraged me and who was a great support in my early years in business; Paul Benitz, editor of the La Jolla Light in 1969 who so warmly welcomed me to La Jolla; Bob Dale, Channel 8 weather tycoon and one of my first customers; Hermann Zillgens, past honorary consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Diego who honored me with Das Verdienstkreuz, Der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, the medal of honor of Germany; Augie Pabst, a race car driver who showed me the Midwest and Southern states of America while I was his personal race mechanic; The man, his name I do not know, who welcomed my wife and daughter to the United States of America when we arrived in New York Harbor; and my wife, for without her there would not be a dinner party.

Tell us about what you are currently reading.

I’m reading, “Taken for a Ride: How Daimler-Benz Drove Off With Chrysler,” (by Bill Vlasic and Bradley Stertz).

What is your most-prized possession?

My Mercedes-Benz automobiles.

What do you do for fun?

I drive the automobiles with my wife.

Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

After leaving Mercedes-Benz, opening my own business in 1969 and seeing my daughter Sonja and grandson Dieter serving the community today.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Good health, spending time with my family and friends; and to laugh, love and live well.