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Obituary Components and Resources

“The goal of an obituary is neither to inspire nor depress. It is to tell the story of a life with accurate details and nuances that distinguish the deceased from all others.”  – Journalism Center on Children & Families

The Advocate can support the Family Lead in writing the first version of the obituary or can create the framework. The Family Lead can then work with the family to personalize it based on the deceased’s personality. The following items are suggested to be included:

  • Name/Announcement
    • Full name of the deceased, including a nickname, if any
    • Age at death
    • City of residence at the time of death
    • Day and date of death (include the year)
    • Place of death
    • If possible, include pictures
  • Life
    • Date of birth
    • Place of birth
    • Names of Parents
    • Childhood – Siblings, stories, schools, and friends
    • Marriage(s) – Date and place with name of the spouse
    • Education – School, college, university, and other
    • Designations, awards, and other recognition
    • Employment – Jobs, activities, stories, colleagues, satisfactions, promotions
    • Military Service
    • Place of residence
    • Hobbies, sports, interests, activities, and other enjoyment
    • Charitable, religious, fraternal, political, and other affiliations; offices held
    • Achievements
    • Unusual attributes, humor, other stories
  • Family
    • Survived by (and place of residence)
      • Spouse
      • Children (in order of birth and their spouses)
      • Grandchildren
      • Great-Grandchildren
      • Great-Great-Grandchildren
      • Parents
      • Grandparents
      • Siblings (order of birth)
      • Others such as nephews, nieces, cousins, in-laws
      • Friends
      • Pets (if appropriate)
    • Predeceased by (and date of death)
      • Spouse
      • Children (in order of birth)
      • Grandchildren
      • Siblings (in order of birth)
      • Others, such as nephews, nieces, cousins, in-laws
      • Pets (if appropriate)
  • Service
    • Day, date, time, and place
    • Name of the officiant, pallbearers, honorary pallbearers, and other information
    • Visitation information (date, time, and place)
    • Reception information (date, time, and place)
    • Other memorials, vigil, or graveside service (date, time, and place)
    • Place of interment
    • Name of the funeral home in charge of the arrangements
    • Where to call for information
  • End
    • Memorial Funds established
    • Memorial donations suggestion (include address)
    • Thank you to people, groups, or institutions

For additional help with writing an obituary, visit these links:

Tips on Writing an Obituary

Examples/Templates of Obituaries

For Infants

For Children

For Mothers/Fathers/Spouses, etc.

More Light-Hearted Examples

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