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Yvonne Matthys, the Grande Dame of Atelier Mestdagh, has passed away, 46 years after her husband Albert Mestdagh. She had just celebrated her 95th birthday.

Together, my grandparents founded Atelier Mestdagh in 1947. Albert died suddenly in 1972. Yvonne, at that time a mother raising three student sons, found the strength to continue the studio. Thanks to her willpower and perseverance, my parents and I were able to expand that wonderful studio and our craft. We will always be grateful to her.

An ordinary woman,
without show or bravura,
but she did not pass unnoticed.
For her, it was not about prosperity.
Not always. She was tested.
But she overcame her suffering proudly and wilfully.
By moving on and not giving up.
With her eyes on the horizon! On the future.

The past was always put behind her.
Work has priority. A phone call was enough.
So long as she knew everything is fine.

That everyone is healthy and happy.
She was a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother.
Jokes and laughter abounded,
and never without a drink and a savoury or sweet accompaniment.
Until the last, she continued to follow everything.
Her heart beat for her family, friends
& for the studio.

She died as she lived:
strong as ever,
with a joke,
and the prospect of a toast.

Cheers, meter!
We will remember you.
Your work goes on…

You grandchild, Katrien