How to Write an Obituary

What is an Obituary?

An obituary is an opportunity to memorialize the life of your loved one as well as provide notification of the services to take place.

An obituary’s length is somewhat dependent on the space available (and the related costs) in the newspaper it is to appear in. However, you may choose to publish a shortened obituary in print and post a longer version on our website. The decision is yours, however it is best to check ahead of time how much room you have before beginning composition. Your Funeral Director will provide guidance on the publication deadlines for whichever newspapers you choose.

What should an Obituary include?

Naturally, the obituary should include the full name along with the location and date of passing

You may also wish to include a photograph with the text or if cost is a concern publish a photograph with the online version of the obituary. Additionally, if you would like to mention where the deceased resided, we recommend listing only the city and state.

Write about the significant events of the life of your loved one. You may include the schools he or she attended, degrees attained; vocations or interests involved with.

Include the names of those left behind?

Often the names of those who are survived or left behind by the deceased are included in the obituary. This list may include:

  • Parents
  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Adopted Children
  • Siblings
  • Step Children
  • Grandparents

Survivors may be listed by name or included in general terms. For example, the obituary may mention the deceased had 4 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Additional information such as where the deceased will be laid to rest may also be mentioned

At the end of the obituary, mention the details of the service including the time, date, and location. These may include the funeral, burial, visiting hours, and memorial service where appropriate.

Other tips

If you don't know where to start, read other obituaries to gain an idea of how you may choose to craft your loved one's.

Also, we suggest you have another family member read through the obituary to ensure it reflects the life of your loved one completely.

Finally, seeing as most newspapers charge by the word, you may not be able to include every detail you wish in the printed obituary. We post each obituary to our website and are able to include a longer version if you wish. Additionally, the obituary may be emailed, printed, posted to social media, and shared with friends directly from our website. It is also a place where friends and family can leave messages of condolence.

We are here with you each step of the way and will gladly help you write the obituary.