What is an Obituary?
An obituary (obit for short) is a notice of a death, especially in a newspaper, typically including a brief biography of the deceased person but styles, formats, and information presented therein vary slightly from culture to culture.
Basically, it reports recent death of a person mentioning the short stitch of life. Main purposes are to apprise relatives and general people of information about the upcoming funeral, such as visitation, burial service, and memorial information.
Mostly we organize some facts in the tone of calmness and sympathy. We may prefer to mention the cause of the death. Death Data can provide us with leading causes of death, injury, preventable deaths, and disposition.
Nowadays it can easily be brought to light in the social Medias or online newspaper. Sometimes publication of obituaries is compulsory, which is termed as ‘Death Notice’. But in most case, these are done by family members, friends and colleagues as the memorial advertisement. Let’s see our Fill in the blank obituary template.
How to Write an Obituary (The 10 steps for beginners)
If you are new in writing obituaries for the first time, then our following 10 steps can be of an aid to your writing of obituaries. Let’s see the steps to make your obituaries well written.
- Planning for publishing obituaries
Your success in obituary writing rests with the successful planning. Make sure whether the obituary will be published in the newspaper as a part of the funeral package. So communicate accordingly with the service providers. In the case of a local/national newspaper, you need to define the inch & its word count, column, and publication date, the soonest the better.
- Gathering personal information & photo
This should be your initial steps to writing an obituary. Here you have to collect the basic data of the person from the surviving relatives or other sources. At the present age, a photo is a must because it tells thousands of words about the diseased. If the obituary is for the newspaper (online or print), a small photo is a perfect match for impressing the relatives. Care should be taken to insert the latest photo possible. I would prefer a photo that would depict the lifestyle in the favorite attire.
- Announcement of the death
In this part, we mention the name, age, and place of residence of the deceased and in some case, we refer to the place of death. Here are some examples of phrases to be included in the body of the announcement:
- Passed away
- In order to meet his Lord
- After a long struggle with disease
- bite the dust
- cease living
- kick the bucket
- meet one’s make
- passed on
Example: Alfred Glimp, Ph.D., who gave 20 years of service to MIT, passed away in June at the age of 71.
- Whether to mention cause of death
We prefer mentioning the cause of the death in the obituaries since the relatives of the diseased become curious of know the case of the death of the beloved one. Some may think differently and do not want to do so as a matter of privacy. The argument is to know the cause of the death, is not concerned with the guest of the funeral, and this is basically pertaining to the family members. So, it is up to your decision whether to mention the case of the death.
- Providing a shorter biographical sketch
For giving the life-sketch of the deceased in your obituary is important as this would help identify the disease from the crowd of information we digest daily living. Only by knowing the name we may sometimes be able to recall the person to whom we once have the great attachment. Therefore; giving short biographical information will be perfect for showing sympathies.
With reference to the qualities, sacrifice, contributions, and association of the deceased, few lines can be jotted in the obituaries. The following relationship can be mentioned:
- Parent’s names (maybe of step parent and sometimes referring to mother’s maiden name)
- Details of spouses (excluding a divorced relationship)
- Education qualification ( of any prominent institution)
- Any contributions and recognitions
- Where and when they were born and Nicknames
- Career works including any military experiences
- Any honors and accomplishments such as sporting
- Favorite poems, songs or quotes
- Clubs/society memberships
- Giving information of the survived family members
Your obituary should not miss referring to the surviving members of the deceased who needs to be comforted with your messages in the obituaries well written. Therefore; the following relationship information should be in the obituaries:
- spouse, children, grandchildren (write spouse’s first name in parenthesis, then surname)
- great and great-great grandchildren ( parents and siblings can also be mentioned)
- step-child or sister of deceased deserves references
- Nieces, nephews in-laws, and cousins (may be omitted if not so associated)
- Detailing of funeral arrangement information
In this part, you should include the details of the arrangement for the funeral, such as time, place and date of service. Moreover; people should be advised if there is any option to donate to any charity preferred by the diseased. Example: “In lieu of sending flowers, you can make your donations to ABC AID, a nonprofit organization.”
- Special messages
Writing special closing messages is optional. It may be of thanksgiving to the hospital authority or short prayers for the deceased. Actually, in this part, you can say something summarizing the overall obituaries i.e. writing something which cannot be mentioned in the body.
Best Obituary Examples for Newspaper
- Diana Ross, Pine Bluff, AR passed away, March 26, 2017, at the age of 47 in Central Hearth Center after a short fight against the cardiac disease. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of New York, she joined St. Ignatius Loyola School at which she taught for more than a decade. Her students were her pride. She had a passionate love for nature for which she preferred living beside the school in a small apartment. Besides; she spent her leisure in reading for pleasure. At St. Peter’s Church, Church Street, you are invited to attend her funeral at 1100hrs on Sunday 12th August. Furthermore; you are requested to do a favor to Library of Ignatius Loyola School.
- Laura M Wilson, 3110 Sampson Street, Aurora, Colorado died of fever on 21th of June, 2017 at 59 in his residence survived by her husband, <insert name> and her daughter <insert name>. On completion of her Ph.D. in Animation Technology from New York City University, she joined Adobe as an adviser to their Animation Research Center where she served for around 16 years. At her apartment, she had a mini aviary having different rare bird species. Besides; her funeral service will be held at Church of 473 Hummingbird Way, Charlestown, MA. In lieu of offering flowers, we appreciate your kind financial support to Sky Eye Hospital.
- Creative Obituary examples for motherNo doubt, loss of the mother is tear-jerking and painful. Yet, you have to make someone write an obituary for your beloved mother though it is better to do on your own. Keeping patience for writing obituary is equally imperative. We will here guide you to write your obit through our sample obituary for mother template.
Creative Obituary examples for father
Hi! I will walk you through writing a unique obit with some great sample obituary. We believe that obit should reflect the genuine image of the person passed away. So, obit can be of information, hilarity, and feeling. In this paragraph, we have some well-written obituary examples for the father. Hope this sample will guide you.