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How to Write an Obituary


Writing an obituary can be overwhelming for anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one. However, if written correctly, your loved ones obituary can become the first step you take towards creating a positive celebration of their life. Below are ten steps you can follow from Heritage Cremation Provider to make the process of writing an obituary easier.

  • Know your template: most newspapers require obituaries to be written following a specific style, so it is a good idea to ask your funeral director or the newspaper if they have a copy of a template for this
  • Know the approved length: most newspapers will provide you with the exact character count for different price brackets for an obituary
  • Evaluate your cost: if you are concerned about the cost, ask your funeral director if this service is included in the price
  • Know your deadline: find out the deadline for submitting the obituary to show in the next printing of the desired paper
  • Know your loved one: Speak with Family and other close relatives to gather information such as:
    • Full name of the deceased
    • Date of birth
    • Date of death
    • City and State where the deceased resided
    • Family members who are still alive and close family who have passed on, spouse or children
    • Location, time and date of services
    • Place of birth, occupation, hobbies, etc. This is where you can make the obituary more personal. Begin to show that you are celebrating the deceased’s life by showing what they did as the unique individual they were.
  • Keep it simple, see other obituaries as examples
  • Proof-read the obituary, do not leave family members or close friends out
  • If you can, submit the obituary in an email so it will not have to be re-typed, that is when mistakes could happen
  • Ask to see a copy before printing to avoid any mistakes
  • Be certain to submit the obituary to newspapers where your loved one lived for a long period of time and where they grew up
  • Check the newspaper once it is in print- if there are errors call them so that the following days paper can be fixed



Example Obituary


John Doe 63, resident of Silver Springs, Fla. died on April 29th 2013 at his home after a brief illness.


He leaves his wife of 40 years, Shannon, his sons Robert and David, Daughters in-law Sharon and Stacy, and three grandchildren, David, Mark and Anthony.


Born and raised in Boston, the son of Carl and Joan (deceased), John attended North High school before joining the U. S. Marines.


Services will be held at Heritage in Silver Springs on Friday May 2nd at 2:00pm.


When you follow these guidelines from Heritage Cremation Provider, you will see that writing an obituary does not have to be so overwhelming and it can be the first step towards healing.