How to Write An Obituary
LEGACY: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past
Customs and traditions for placing and writing an obituary notice may vary depending on your religious affiliation, ethnic background or region.
You may find it beneficial to look at an obituary notice in your local newspaper to get a better idea of how an obituary notice from your area is written and presented.
Check with the newspaper to see if there are any restrictions on length before you write the obituary.† Cost is also a factor.
Remember that the obituary needs to appear in print a few days prior to the memorial service.
The obituary appearing in a newspaper will be more formal than an announcement to family or friends.
It contains specific biographical data about the deceased and information that those wishing to pay respects will need.
Here is a general guideline to help you write an obituary.
You might also want to mention any people or groups that you wish to thank publicly for care given to the deceased. You could also include special poems or prayers.
If you are also placing the obituary in a newspaper, many families have found it beneficial to include an invitation to the public to view the notice online. If the funeral home provides it, an online guestbook for the public is a way for friends/acquaintances to leave their condolences, if unable to attend the service. Please note that the messages left for the family are pre-screened before being posted online.
Consider sending the obituary to newspapers in other cities where the deceased formerly lived or worked.
Any and all information to be included in the obituary should be verified with another family member.
A newspaper will have to verify with the funeral home being utilized that the deceased is in fact being taken care of by that funeral home.
Check for any spelling errors or errors in any factual information before submitting the obituary for publication.