How to Write an Obituary

Download our free Obituary Worksheet to help you get started. ♡



  • Start with the person's name and the date and place of their passing.
  • Consider mentioning the circumstances surrounding the death.
  • Mention a saying that they were known for using often.


Early Life

  • Include their birth name, place of birth, and date of birth.
  • For geneological records, list parents' names including the mother's maiden name.
  • Share any educational achievements including the graduation year.
  • Include military service when applicable.
  • Offer a sentance about how they met their spouse and the date of marriage.


Adult Years

  • List workplace accomplishments, awards, and other professional details.
  • Describe positive personality traits.
  • List club, organization, and/or church memberships.
  • Give some insight into favorite activities and memories.



  • The first paragraph contains the surviving family members. Traditional order is: spouse, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and siblings. Age order is the most common secondary way of sorting the family. Cities of residence can be included if desired.
  • Remember that some employers only give time off for those who are listed in the obituary.
  • The second paragraph lists those family members who have previously passed away.



  • Consider thanking the hospice group or nursing home if the care was excellent.
  • Your funeral director will help by making sure the service details are correct.


Helpful Reminders


Newspaper Cost

Keep in mind that many newspapers charge based on the length of the annoucment. Consider a long version for the funeral home website and a short version for the local paper. Some newspapers allow for a free version known as a Death Notice which may be an option for you.


Thoughts on Safety

Avoid mentioning collections such as firearms, antiques, precious metals, coins, or anything that would attract unwanted attention to the value of items in the family home.


Ask Your Funeral Director

It can be hard to know where to start with writing an obituary. If you get writers block, ask your funeral director to start a draft for you at the time of arrangements.



Browse Obituaries


Feel free to browse through what other people have written about their loved one to find a style that you prefer. Click here to see our list of current obituaries. Below are some specific examples for your reference.


Obituary Examples


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