Françoise Poncelet, RIP

Today, I accompanied EESC President Staffan Nilsson and a coach of mourning colleagues to the funeral of a much-loved colleague, Françoise Poncelet, who died suddenly last week at the tragically young age of 43. Outside, it was a beautiful, crisply cold day, with all the promise of spring that Françoise will alas now never see. The beautifully arranged ceremony took place in the Ardennes town of Bertrix. Françoise was, among other things, a gifted musician and a passionate singer. She sung in several choirs and founded and conducted one herself. During the mass her friends and that choir, Ancora, gave a beautiful slow rendition of the Zulu song ‘Siyahamba’ (literally, ‘We are marching in the light of God’) and, later, ‘Walk in the Light’. Music was much to the fore and the tributes from her family, friends and colleagues all gave the same sense of how Françoise, whether simply walking smilingly down a corridor at work or conducting a choir in the evening, brought music and sunlight into our lives. As her sister and brother put it, ‘Alors comme ça, tu t’en vas! Tu nous laisses au bord du chemin, avec nos souvenirs et l’écho de ton rire dans le coeur.’


  1. Kuc

    Thanks for this testimony.


  2. James Bradshaw

    Thank you for a lovely tribute. It is most comforting for those friends of Françoise in the UK, who have just heard the sad news, to know that so many of her colleagues and friends were there to pay tribute in a way that we were not able. Françoise was a wonderful, talented and caring woman; she was my Aupair when I was an infant and had remained a good family friend. She will be sadly missed. May the next world be kinder to you than maybe this one was.

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