How to Write an Obituary Notice

Writing an obituary is a difficult and emotional task.   First, you will need to gather information from family and friends of the deceased about:

  • their childhood
  • education
  • career
  • hobbies and interests. 

As well, speak to the funeral home to receive any important information on the date, time and location of any funeral service, or other funeral related events. 

Using the template will help make the process easier and will ensure you write a properly structured obituary.

Instructions: Replace all items in ITALICS below with the appropriate information.

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[GIVEN NAME] [MIDDLE NAME (AND NICKNAME)] [SURNAME NAME], [AGE], of [CITY], [STATE], passed away on [DATE OF DEATH] in [LOCATION OF DEATH].

Funeral service will be held at [LOCATION] on [DATE] at [TIME] with Reverend [NAME] of [CHURCH] officiating. Burial will follow at [CEMETERY NAME], [CEMETERY LOCATION]. Visitation will be held at [LOCATION] on [DATE] at [TIME]. [NAME OF FUNERAL HOME] will be handling the funeral arrangements.

[NAME] was born in [LOCATION OF BIRTH] to [PARENT’S NAMES] on [DATE OF BIRTH]. He/she went to high school at [SCHOOL NAME] and graduated in [YEAR]. He/she went on to earn a degree/certificate in [DEGREE TYPE] from [SCHOOL NAME]. He/she worked as a [JOB TYPE] for [COMPANY] for [NUMBER OF YEARS]. He/she enjoyed [ACTIVITIES/HOBBIES]. He/she received [AWARDS/HONORS] and was involved in [CHARITIES/ORGANIZATIONS].

[NAME] is survived by his/her [RELATION], [NAME] of [CITY].  (List all survivors: spouse children, siblings, parents, grandchildren, nieces and nephews). He/she is preceded in death by his/her [RELATION], [NAME]. (List predeceased: spouse, parents, children and siblings.)

Memorial donations may be made to [ORGANIZATION NAME], [MAILING ADDRESS].  The family wishes to extend their gratitude to [ORGANIZATION/NAME] [FINAL WORDS].

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Remember most newspapers charge by the word, this template is good for getting the all the information necessary in as few words possible.  However, this template is not written in stone.  You can make any adjustments you feel necessary.