How to write an obituary

+51 votes
asked Jun 10, 2015 in Culture & Society by ShaynePrenti (230 points)
Can someone tell me how to write an obituary? Thanks for your time.

1 Answer

+29 votes
answered Sep 30, 2015 by ShennaCrossl (380 points)

Sorry for your loss. Writing an obituary is more than a responsibility-it is an honor. Your loved ones memory can last forever if you write their obituaries well. Below are some important things you must keep in mind and focus on, and I hope they help you to understand how to write an obituary.

1. Make sure you check with the funeral home and/or newspaper first. As part of their services, most funeral homes provide the bereaved with forms for important information and help you write the full obituary as part of their services. Some newspapers will give you specific restrictions and style guidelines on the length, some do not accept obituaries that are not from funeral homes, and some do not accept obituaries other than those written by newspaper staff.

2. Make sure you provide biographical information. Share as much information as possible about the deceased-this will make it easier for people to identify the dead as someone they knew while he or she was alive. Here are some important items you can include:

  • The full name of the deceased person, which should include real name, surname, nickname, maiden name, and any other name people can identify him or her with.
  • Date of birth, place of birth, marriage and death dates.
  • Cause of death.
  • The names of loved ones who survived the deceased.
  • Schools attended.
  • Military service.
  • Place of employment and position occupied,
  • Organization where the deceased belonged such as church civic, fraternal, etc.
  • Special interests and hobbies.

3. List one or two charities you would like donations to be made to. If you include any charity, make sure there is a web link people can follow to make their donations.

4. Include complete funeral service information if services are public. Service information like day, location, time of visitation, funeral or memorial service, and burial. If the services are private, make sure you indicate that burial will be private.

5. If the family of the deceased prefers donations to flowers you can include like: Consider the needs of the bereaved family in place of flowers or family requests your financial assistance for the burial or freewill donations suggested to the bereaved family.

6. Make sure the obituary is published at least 1-2 days before the burial date. This will enable friends and family make proper arrangements to attend.

Final Tip: If you want to make the memories of your loved ones last and make a good impression on people who knew them, look for very intimate details that will keep their memories alive for long: hobbies, quirks, favorite quotes, passions, travels, favorite foods, and unusual pursuits. Everyone has unique stories. Ask the deceased's friends, family, colleagues for important details about the deceased. 

Hope you have learned how to write an obituary well!

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