Simon van Kempen shared a touching tribute to his late mother, Elaine van Kempen, on Instagram following her passing on Saturday, July 13.
The Real Housewives of New York City alum shared the sad news in a post on Instagram on July 15. The post featured a vintage black-and-white photo of his mother on the beach holding an adorable baby, who is presumably her son, Simon.
In his tribute, Simon explained that one of the best parts of moving his family from New York back to his native Australia in 2014 was that his and wife Alex McCord's sons, Francois and Johan, were able to connect even more deeply with their grandmother. "Just over 4 and a half years ago we moved to Australia and one of the joys that brought was the opportunity for Francois [and] Johan to get to know their Australian grandmother, Elaine van Kempen," Simon shared in the post. "On Saturday she may have left this earth, but our memories of her will remain vivid for years to come and I am thrilled that Francois [and] Johan got to know her so well."
Alex told The Daily Dish in 2017 that she and Simon decided to move to Australia so that they could be closer to his mother and his siblings. "We are now about three minutes away in a couple of different directions from all of Simon's family," she said. "That's something we never had in New York, because my family is all from Dallas, and Simon's family was obviously in Australia. We haven't had that before, and it's a learning experience."
When they're not pursuing their new careers in psychology and law, respectively, Alex and Simon have continued to focus on family since moving to Byron Bay, Australia, whether it's spending days out with their teenage sons or celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary.