Lutgart Simoens was one of the most famous radio voices in Flanders for more than 40 years. When she passed away last weekend at the age of 92, a shock wave went through Flanders.
During an intimate ceremony, Saturday morning in Edegem, radio celebrity Lutgart Simoens said goodbye. Because a limited number of people were permitted in the church due to the corona measures, the funeral was broadcast via live stream on Radio 2.
It was a nice farewell, including testimony from daughter Martine. “I want to thank everyone for the nice words,” she said.
Under normal circumstances, the service might have continued in the Edegem basilica, but due to the corona measures, only the close family could be present. The funeral, therefore, took place in the parish church of the Holy Family in Edegem.
During the service, a recorded tribute by radio host Guy De Pré was played. He said goodbye to his “radio mother”. “Three words typified you:” real “,” sincere “and” respect “, on the radio and in life. That is why the listeners of Radio 2 have adored you all these years.”
Simoens presented various programs on Radio 2 for years, including the iconic “Questions is free”, “Record cleaner” and “Toppers for teenagers”. She interviewed countless world stars, such as Mick Jagger, Cliff Richard and even the late Queen Fabiola. In the meantime, in her private life, she found love with Renolf Van Huffelen, with whom she had five children.
After her retirement in 1993, however, Simoens faced many setbacks. She lost one of her grandchildren, and her husband and two children died of cancer. She also had to give up her new love later. In 2016 – she was 88 at the time – Lutgart had a living will be drawn up. In it, she noted that she wanted to decide for herself when her life should end.
In the last interviews she gave, she said she was gradually getting to that point. She called her life “completed.” “I’ve had everything in my life,” she said. “I don’t expect anything worthwhile anymore.” Eventually, she died peacefully at the age of 92 in the rest home Ter Eycke in Edegem, where she stayed for the last few years.