How To Write An Obituary

After the death of a loved one you may wish to write an obituary for the local newspaper, or just for the funeral home website.

There are several things that should be included in an obituary, including

1- An Announcement of the Death
2- Family
3- Biographical Information
4- Service Information
5- Donation Information


An announcement of the death should include the deceased’s name, maiden name if they are female, age, and place of residence. If you do not want to use the word “died” there are several phrases that can be used in place of that. Those include “passed away”, or “went to be with god”. “Surrounded by family” can also be included. It is perfectly acceptable to not include the cause of death, as many people find that too personal.


It’s very important to list the survivors of the deceased. Some people start with the predeceased parents, they can also be added at the end. Next, or first if you don’t include the parents, you would list the spouse, you can include how many years they were married, such as “Jane Doe, loving wife of 45 years”. After the spouse it is most common to list the children, usually in order of birth, starting with the oldest. Spouses of children can be included as an “and” or put in parenthesis. Some people also include where the children live, city and state. After the children the grandchildren should be mentioned, this can be done with both first and last names, or just the first names. Siblings should also be mentioned by name after grandchildren. Nieces, nephews, in-laws, and cousins are usually not mentioned by name.


Biographical information usually includes such things as education, important events (such as marriage), work, and military service. Other things that can be added are personal qualities, hobbies, social organizations, charity work, honors, and accomplishments. Information does not need to be listed chronologically, and everything does not need to be included. Just the most important aspects of the persons life.


Following that is where you should put the service information. This can also be done by the funeral director. You should start with the time and date of the service. If you are having a chapel service then list the name of the chapel and the address. Lastly you should list the cemetery and the cemetery address.


Lastly would be donation information. Donations can be to the deceased’s favorite charity, to their temple or synagogue, or to something that was meaningful to them, such as a zoo or a botanical garden. Make sure to include the physical address that donations can be sent to, or a website where they can be made. A picture can be included with the obituary for both the newspaper and the website, it does add to the cost of a newspaper obituary, but can help readers recognize your loved one.

After you write the obituary it should me emailed to us at