‘My father was the first man I loved’ - Jacques de Coning's daughter

Jacques de Coning’s daughter Joani de Coning and Justin Fox at the musician’s funeral service, during which white pigeons were released
Jacques de Coning’s daughter Joani de Coning and Justin Fox at the musician’s funeral service, during which white pigeons were released
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

The poignant funeral of Afrikaans singer and songwriter Jacques de Coning was a mix of sadness and humour.

Mourners on Friday descended on the auditorium of the Father’s House Church in North End to pay their last respects to De Coning, who died in a car accident between Alexandria and Kenton-on-Sea last week.

One of his most popular songs, Girl van die Klein Karoo, played as background music prior to tributes being given by friends and family members.

On a neatly decorated table stood a photo of De Coning and his wife Lynn surrounded by small, lit candles.

Speakers talked about De Coning’s generous nature and the impact he had had on their lives.

They said his death would leave a huge void but his music would forever live in their hearts.

Daughter Joani de Coning said: “My father meant the world to me. I would get away with murder. My father was the first man I loved.

“Thank you for blessing my future with Justin [her fiance].”

Pastor George Georgiou read passages from the book of Luke in which Simon Peter chops off the ear of Malchus, a servant of a high priest, with Jesus reconnecting the ear.

Georgiou said God did not only celebrate with us at the beginning but also repaired at the end.

“The joy of that to me is remarkable. The man [De Coning] you have come to celebrate here today had magic. Not in the creepy way – magic to sing songs, magic to chat to people.

“Magic people have a little bit of madness to change the world. If you try to hold down madness, you kill the magic.

“I have a feeling he is hosting his first concert somewhere in heaven,” Georgiou said.

“As you wave him goodbye, they welcome him in heaven.”

In an emotional message for her husband, Lynn wrote: “The tears in my eyes I can wipe away but the ache in my heart will always stay.

“A part of my heart you took away with you but your love you left me to keep.

“We will never really be parted, the bond between us is too deep.

“There is no perfect husband and no perfect wife but there were plenty of perfect moments in our marriage.

“Today, I am not a widow, I am a wife to a husband with wings. I pick you.”

Owen Putzier of the Freemason Society battled to contain his emotions as he said De Coning was a giving, sharing person and it was his wish that his organs be donated.

“Jacques was forever giving of himself and sharing.”

Putzier spoke of a lunch which went on until 7pm because of De Coning’s jovial nature.

“It started at about midday and due to Jacques’s hard work it went on after 7pm. That’s lunch for you,” he said.

Just over two years ago, Putzier said, De Coning had identified with the aim and functioning of the Freemasons and had joined the fraternity.