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Writing an Obituary

Remembering the Deceased through ObituariesObituary_Writing

In recent years, the focus of funerals and memorial services has shifted from being solely a standardized service to mourn the deceased, to being one that celebrates his life, highlighting his personality, interests and accomplishments. Writing an obituary that serves this purpose is easy to do when the right details are included. Here are a few steps to follow.


  • The obituary serves to give notice of the person's death, remember their life, give details of their extended family and inform of the memorial service arrangements. Make sure to have all of this information close by when sitting down to write the obituary. 
  • Include the full name of the deceased, adding in nicknames if he or she went by one, include age at death, current place of residence, day and date of death, place of death, and cause of death.
  • Next comes a section telling about the deceased's life. Include date of birth, place of birth, name of parents and siblings, marriage and children, education, any awards or honorable accomplishments, Employment which could include promotions and colleagues, hobbies and club affiliations, charitable or religious organization memberships, and any lifetime achievements.
  • Some family members might choose to include humor or quirks about that deceased's life. This is a matter of preference.
  • Include a list of family that has survived the deceased. This is could be a spouse, children, parents, siblings, pets, etc.
  • Include information on the service time, date and location for both the visitation and funeral.
  • A number for the funeral home so friends can send flowers or call for more information.
  • If donations to a charitable organization are being accepted, you may include this information as well.

Most obituaries' format and cost will change depending on the paper so check with the local one for more details. The cost will most likely be per a word and can add up quickly. Have someone else proofread the obituary before it is submitted to avoid any printed errors.