How To Write An Obituary – A Step-by-Step Guide
Preparing an obituary for someone you love should be approached with care and thought.
Like the funeral service itself, an obituary is a personalized acknowledgement of the loss of a loved one. It should express the joy and positive impact that their presence among us brought.
1. Begin with the name, age and date of death.
2. Biographical Sketch - "Sketch" is the key word here. An obituary is not a biography, but a recounting of the most important events, qualities, contributions and connections in a person’s life.
3. Hobbies, Accomplishments, Etc. - Each life is unique, but among the most important universal milestones are: the date and place of birth, parent’s names, date and place of marriage, education, work or military service can also be included. A long list of honors and accomplishments is not often of interest to anyone outside the immediate family but can be considered during a funeral eulogy. Do mention significant contributions and recognitions, but if there are many, choose carefully and try to encompass as many as you can in as few words as possible. This summarization strategy works well for a person who was involved in many service and social organizations, places of employment, hobbies, or places of residence as well.
3. Family - Include Survivors and Deceased
It is said that the funeral is for the living. The obituary is for the living too, and one of the most important parts is the listing of survivors and those who preceded your loved one in death. Typically this is direct immediate family.
4. Service Times
6. Photos - Photos add to the cost of an obituary, but can be a useful way for readers to recognize our loved one among all the other obituaries. This value of identification is usually lost if a 40 year old photo is used.