Writing an Obituary

Mar - 03 2017 | no comments | By

More than merely a “good-bye” to the deceased, this is a farewell which can, in chronological order, detail the life of the deceased. An obituary also serves as notification that an individual has passed away and details of the services that are to take place. An obituary’s length may be somewhat dictated by the space available in the newspaper it is to appear in. Therefore it’s best to check how much room you have before you begin your composition. Remember that the obituary needs to appear in print a few days prior to the memorial service. There are some cases where this may not be possible, therefore give some consideration to the guidelines below when composing the obituary.

What to include?

Naturally, it is vital that the full name, along with the location and date of passing is included so that there is no confusion over whom has died. You may wish to consider placing a photograph (which can appear as black & white or in color depending on the newspaper’s layout) with the text. There are usually extra charges applied if you are thinking of using a photograph. If you wish, mention where the deceased resided. This will normally only include the street, city and region/state/province/county. The street number is not normally included for reasons of security.

In a concise manner, write about the significant events in the life of the deceased. This may include the schools he or she attended and any degrees attained; you may also include any vocations or interests that the deceased was involved with.


It is common to include a list of those who have survived the deceased. The list should include (where applicable):

  • Parents
  • Spouse and children
  • Adopted children
  • Half & step children
  • Siblings
  • Half & step siblings
  • Grandparents

The surviving relatives listed above may be listed by name. Other relatives will not be mentioned by name but may be included in terms of their relationship to the deceased. In other words, the obituary may mention that the deceased had 5 grandchildren; 7 nieces etc. However, exceptions to the above rule can be made if, for example, the deceased only had one grandchild or a nephew who was the only person living in the newspaper’s distribution area. These exceptions are obviously made based on each individual case.

Also, anyone listed as a special friend or companion is not normally included amongst the list of survivors unless the deceased’s blood relatives request that it be so. The obituary’s traditional purpose is to list survivors either related through the bloodline or marriage.

Additional information such as where the body will be laid to rest and any pallbearer’s names or names of honorary pallbearers may be mentioned.

At this point list the details of the time and location of any services for the deceased: these may include the funeral, burial, wake and memorial service where appropriate.

Do’s & Don’ts

If you don’t know where to start, do read other obituaries to gain an idea of how personal and touching an obituary may be.

Do use such terms as “visitation will be from” or “friends may call from”. Do not utilize the phrase “lie in state” as that only applies to a head of state such as the prime minister or president.

Don’t use the phrase “in lieu of flowers” when memorial donations are to be requested. Instead merely start the final paragraph of the obituary with the words “Memorial donations may be made to”

Do consider if you wish to send the obituary to newspapers in other cities e.g. to a town where the deceased may have resided previously. Obtain copies of the obituary to send to distant relatives and friends.

Final considerations

Any and all information to be included in the obituary should be verified with another family member. A newspaper will have to verify with the funeral home being utilized that the deceased is in fact being taken care of by that funeral home.

Seeing as most newspapers charge by the word when placing an obituary, it may not always be feasible to mention everything that we have stated in our guidelines. Use your own discretion and do not put yourself under any financial hardship. Your loved one would understand.

Source: http://www.danielsfuneralhome.net/Writing_an_obituary_349902.html

How To Write An Obituary

Feb - 03 2017 | no comments | By

An obituary tells the story of a deceased person’s life. It acknowledges the person’s passing, his or her life accomplishments, the people left behind and funeral or memorial services. When you get assigned the task of obituary writing, review these tips on writing an obituary to make it easier to complete.


Since the obituary tells a story of someone’s life, make it compelling and interesting to read. Focus on the key achievements the person accomplished. If the deceased person was a standout in life, make his or her obituary a standout as well. More than enough of the obituaries are dull and boring and tell little more than the person died, the names of surviving family members and the funeral arrangements.

While that is important information to include, remember that an obituary is the last chance to let people know about the deceased’s life and the contributions he or she made to the community. If you are worried about newspaper costs that charge by the column inch or number of column lines, to keep word count down, focus on the how the person was in life, rather than the funeral arrangements.


Obituary writing must always include the full name of the deceased and a nickname if he or she had one. The town or city of residence, the place and cause of death, the person’s age and the date he or she died, including the year are all important facts to include when writing an obituary. When it comes to writing about the person’s life, include the important events in the person’s life such as the date and place of birth and the person’s parents.

Include siblings, close friends and information about the person’s education, if they attended a college, university or technical school. Include information on notable awards or other achievements, where the person worked, business colleagues, notable career events, hobbies, interests or other activities. If the person was involved with charitable or religious activities include those as well. If the deceased had an unusual life or attributes, add these when obituary writing.


List key family members in the following order, which can be cut from the bottom up there isn’t enough room in the newspaper. List the spouse first, include the town or city where the spouse lives, children in the order of when they were born and their spouses, if any, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, in-laws, nephews or nieces, all listed in birth order. Include friends and pets, if the person was particularly fond of their pets. List those who have preceded the deceased after living members in the same order, i.e., spouse, children, grandchildren and more.


Include the place, day, time and date of the funeral or memorial service. List the person’s name who officiates the service and the names of pallbearers, if applicable. If the funeral involves an open casket, include the dates and times for viewings. If there are plans for a graveside service, include the site, day, time and date. Let readers know the funeral home in charge of arrangements and whom to call for more information if there are no services planned.


Sometimes family members set up memorial accounts with a charity especially when there was a debilitating disease, accident or crime involved. Let people know where they can send their memorial donations by including the address or website in the obituary. Last, give thanks to any special people, institutions or groups that were particularly helpful to the deceased. Include a favorite poem or quotation of the deceased and a few words that summarize the person’s life.


Now that you know the important information to include when obituary writing, there are other tips on writing an obituary that go beyond the mere facts. Make the obit compelling by using words that show instead of tell. Dry facts will tell the story, but it won’t compel people to read on.

Instead of writing “he served in the military,” try something like this instead: “after Korea and two tours in Viet Nam with the U.S. Army that resulted in a Purple Heart and a Distinguished Service Cross, Joe retired from active duty in 1978.” Also think of a way to sum up the person’s life in three to six words, something that would resonate with friends and family members. These phrases typically appear as the epitaph on a cemetery headstone or inspire those who might be participating in the eulogy.


The best way to complete a successful obituary is to write a draft; keep it simple, but correct. Stay consistent with how you list the family members; consider making several versions of the obituary for placement in multiple newspapers. The obituary should appear in the local newspapers of family members and friends. Keep a long version to place on the Internet or your blog, and write-up shorter versions for different publications.


If it’s hard to proofread and edit, have a trusted friend or family member review the obituary to catch any misspellings or to verify facts. Proofreading avoids errors in the obituary when it goes to the newspaper. Once it’s printed, it cannot be changed. Review the details carefully. The written obituary serves as a record of the deceased’s life; it will also be used by family generations to come for genealogical research.


Don’t write the obituary in first person or use phrases such as “the family of Joe Friend announce,” as an obituary is not about the person or family members who write it, it is all about the person who died. Write it from the third person perspective, as an outsider or bystander who witnessed the event.

Don’t forget to include all family members. If you decide to only list the names of the spouse and children, don’t include the name of a favorite grandparent and not include all the grandparents names, because this shows a deference on the part of the writer. You could list the names of the spouse and children and could include the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren without listing all their names. However you decide to write it, remain consistent with how you list those that survived the deceased.


Before submitting the obituary to newspapers, conduct research to find out what it might cost you. Local community newspapers usually don’t charge a fee for an obituary, but with the rising costs of newspaper publication and the decreasing amount of newspaper space available, many do charge. Fees for newspaper obituaries are calculated by the number of lines in a newspaper column or by column inch. For example, most newspapers limit an obituary to 24 lines in a column without a fee. Unless the deceased one was significant to the community in some way, the newspaper will need you to write the obituary.

Newspapers print two types of obit notices, one of which may be legally required: a death notice and the obituary. A death notice appears in the classified or legal section of the newspaper and leaves out the deceased’s life story. It’s only a factual accounting of the person’s death. Death notices are typically used in the event the person had a large estate and will, business partners or extensive creditors.


Here’s a sample of obituary writing when writing an obituary for your family member or friend:

Betty “Betts” H. Carman, 85, died Sunday, November 4, 2012 in her daughter’s home from complications related to her emphysema. In hospice care for a six months prior to her death, Betts died peacefully in her sleep.

She leaves her daughter, Laurie Brenner and husband Gordon; son Larry Reeves and wife Tina and son Zachary Parks, granddaughters Naomi, Rachael, Stephanie and Danielle, and six great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her spouse, Robert Carman in 1994 and her daughter, Jo Tiila, in 1978, who died at the age of 19.

Born in Astoria, Oregon September 24, 1927 where her father was stationed during his Naval service, Betty spent her early years traveling with her parents during her father’s 30-year military career until they settled in La Jolla, California. An Alpine, California resident for forty years before her passing, Betts lived primarily in and around San Diego County most of her life.

Her membership in the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club’s water ballet group at the age of 14 got noticed by visiting Hollywood producers that secured her a swimming role in two of Esther Williams’ movies, “This Time for Keeps,” and “Bathing Beauty.” She worked with film notables Red Skelton, Lauritz Melchior, Johnny Johnston, Xavier Cougot and was fondly nicknamed “Tango Legs” by Jimmy Durante. While on the MGM set, she went to school with Elizabeth Taylor and used to say that Elizabeth’s eyes “were really violet.”

In the years that followed, Betts was recruited to swim in Olympian Buster Crabbe’s (of Flash Gordon and Tarzan fame) Aqua Parade in tours of the United States and Europe. After her movie stint and involvement in the “Aqua Parade,” Betts worked as a bookkeeper and was one of the first programmers using keypunch cards at San Diego State University.

Long known for her positive outlook on life and her sense of humor, Betts served many years as the Alpine VFW Post Ladies Auxiliary Treasurer and volunteered at the Alpine American Legion.

A private memorial service was held at her daughter’s home in Placerville, California for family members.

Source: http://www.cremationsolutions.com/information/cremation-services-and-funeral-planning/how-to-write-an-obituary

How to Write an Obituary in 10 Easy Steps

Jan - 03 2017 | no comments | By

If you’ve come to this page on how to write an obituary, you’ve obviously lost a loved one, and I’m deeply sorry for your loss. If you’re in a hurry, skip ahead to the obituary template and example by going straight to item No. 5. But I recommend at least scanning the numbered obituary writing tips below before you get started.

I spent two years editing obituaries at a daily newspaper and want to share with you tips that will help you write your obituary and reduce the chance of errors from being printed in the newspaper.

The ultimate botched obituary that sticks out in my mind is when “a” in the word “aunt” inadvertently was replaced with “c” (I wish I could write it, but use your imagination) to create a very inappropriate writeup for a “beloved aunt” in the sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm. Even though this is a fictional example, this kind of thing happened on a regular basis at the newspaper where I worked, and happens at newspapers around the country.

These situations make great fodder for a sitcom, but it’s nothing to laugh at if these unfortunate errors appear in the obit of your loved one. When my mother passed away last year, the last thing I wanted to do was deal with her obituary, but you can be sure that I carefully proofed everything so her obituary did not turn into a joke. Newspaper editors are very busy, and even though they should catch all errors, there will always be things that slip by. You can help reduce the likelihood of this kind of error by submitting your obit electronically and following some other tips I’m about to give you.

Here’s a Step-By-Step Guide to Writing an Obituary

1. Grab a copy of your local paper. Most newspapers require obituaries to be written in a specific style, so take a look at your paper when looking for a guideline on how to write an obituary. You also should ask your funeral home if they have templates. If you plan on submitting to other newspapers, try to get a copy, or check to see if they print obits online. If you don’t follow the newspaper’s style, they will likely rewrite your obituary, which could introduce errors into the writeup.

2. Set a price limit if you’re on a budget. Most newspapers charge by the column inch, and lengthy tributes can cost you hundreds of dollars. Many funeral homes will include a basic obituary as part of the funeral package. If your funeral home will be submitting the obit, ask them what the word limit is, and how much it will cost you for each additional inch. Because the word count per inch varies depending on the column width and font size used in the newspaper, call your funeral home or local newspaper and ask them roughly how many words are in a column inch for obituaries. Also ask them if there are any length restrictions. This will give you a rough idea of how much you should write.

3. Ask for the deadline time. Most daily morning papers have a deadline of 4 or 5 p.m., so you’ll want to submit your obit as soon as possible to ensure accuracy, especially if you want it to run the next day. Newspapers often make exceptions and take obits after deadline (we did it all the time because the paper didn’t want to turn away the money), but just remember that doing this increases the chances that an error will appear because editors might not have enough time to proofread it.

4. Decide what you want to include. If you don’t have all of the information you need, you’ll want to make phone calls and gather these facts as soon as possible, preferably before you start writing. Again, if you’re in a hurry and want to skip ahead to the templates, go straight to item No. 5.

The basic obituary usually includes:
–Full name of the deceased
–Date of Birth
–City and state of residence where they were living when they passed away
–Name of significant other (alive or deceased)
–Time, date and place of viewing, burial, wake and memorial service arrangements–If you don’t have this information yet, you can always write something like, “funeral arrangements are being made by ABC Funeral Home and will be announced at a later date.” That way those who are interested can contact the funeral home for more information. If you plan on repeating the obituary, you can include the details in a future issue.

Other things you might want to include:
–City and state of birth
–City and state of other residences–You may want to include this if: most of the person’s life was spent living in a different place from where they died, they lived in a town or city that was important to them or if they were well known or did something notable in a previous town.
–Parents’ names and residences–Some people only include these if they’re still alive, but others give tribute to a deceased parent (ex: “daughter of the late John Smith”).
–Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s names and residences–If this list gets two long, you can eliminate the names and locations (ex: “five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren”).
–Other family members (nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, etc.) and special friends– Again, this can make your obituary quite long (and can get political if you include some names, but not others), so you may want to leave these people out unless you have a small family or are prepared to pay for a costly obituary.
–Special pets
–Activities–Include churches, clubs, organizations, volunteer groups, hobbies and other things that were important to your loved one.
–Vocation and places of employment
–Notable accomplishments
–Degrees and schools attended
–Military service
–Date of marriage
–Personality traits and anecdotes
–How they died–Most people don’t include this information, but it’s up to you. Use good judgment, especially if the death was gruesome, involved illegal activity or was a suicide. However, if someone died while in the war or during a major catastrophe, you may want to include that information.
–Where people should make a memorial contribution. If you’d rather people not send flowers, tell them where they can make a contribution. Again, think about what your loved one, not you, would want.

5. Write the obit. Now that you have all of the information you need, it’s time to sit down and write the obit. Here’s a basic template that you can use to get started. I’ve also included a sample obituary below to help you out.

Basic Obituary Template
NAME, AGE, of RESIDENCE, died (passed away, went to heaven, etc.), DATE (cause of death optional).

HE/SHE was born (PLACE, DATE OF BIRTH, PARENTS). NAME graduated from SCHOOL and received DEGREE fromSCHOOL. HE/SHE was married to SPOUSE’S NAME (date of wedding optional).

INSERT OPTIONAL BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION HERE: Employment history, accomplishments, organizations, activities, etc.

HE/SHE was survived by CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, ETC. (Make sure to separate each entry with a semicolon or it can get messy. See the example below.)

Funeral arrangements will be held TIME, DATE and PLACE.

Here’s a sample obituary
Mary Jane Smith, 88, of Miami, died Wednesday.

She was born to the late Donald and Rita Green, Nov. 11, 1919, in Savannah, Ga. Mary graduated from Memorial High School in 1938 and received a BA in English from the University of Georgia in 1942. She married the late John Smith in 1943, and they lived together in Athens, Ga., before relocating to Miami in 1960.

Mary was a high school English teacher until she retired in 1984 and was passionate about making a difference in the lives of her students. She founded the Miami Reads program for underprivileged children in 1968 and was honored with the Dade County Teacher of the Year award in 1966 and 1970.

Mary was an active member of First Baptist Miami Church, Miami Rotary Club and the Dade County Book Club. She loved to travel, and took 20 cruise trips with her husband in her lifetime.

Mary is survived by four children: Jane Doe and Samantha Andrews, of Ft. Lauderdale; Jennifer Brown, of New York City; and Mike Smith, of Miami. She also is survived by eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made out to Miami Reads.

A viewing will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Green Family Funeral Home. Burial will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Oakland Cemetery.

Most obits follow a very basic noun/verb format. This may seem dry and boring, but this is the style at most newspapers. However, if it looks like your newspaper offers more flexibility and you feel like being creative, by all means go for it. The example above is just an example, and styles differ from paper to paper. Try to mimic the style of other obits in your newspaper so it will not be rewritten. Just focus on getting the format right and don’t sweat the small stuff such as abbreviations, days vs. dates, courtesy titles, etc. Editors will fix these things to conform with the newspaper’s style rules.

6. Have someone else, preferably a close family member or friend, proof the obituary. It is always a good idea to have someone else read the obit before you submit it to the newspaper. This person should not only check for spelling and grammatical errors, but they also should make sure you didn’t leave out important family members or anything else that was inadvertently excluded. As you’re writing and reading the obituary, think about how your loved one would want others to remember him/her. If fishing was his life, you should include that. But if he was in the chess club just to pass the time, you might want to leave that out. If she was close to her extended family, you might want to make an effort to get those names in and leave something else out.

7. Submit an electronic copy via e-mail or CD. I can’t stress this enough. When I worked at a newspaper, 90 percent of all obituary errors started with people (or funeral homes) who submitted a typed or handwritten copy. Even if you type it on your computer and fax it in, someone at the newspaper will have to scan it in or retype it, increasing the chance that errors will be introduced into the obituary. If the funeral home is submitting the obituary on your behalf, make sure that they plan on e-mailing the announcement to the paper. If not, you should submit it to the newspaper yourself.

8. Request to receive a proof from the newspaper before your obituary is printed if you’re worried about mistakes. You probably don’t have the time or energy to worry about it at this point, but if you’re concerned about errors, ask if you can see a proof before it goes to press. Most newspapers won’t allow you to look at a final copy, but if you put up a big enough fuss, many papers, especially small-town papers, will honor your request (we did). You may have to come into the newspaper office or have a copy faxed to you.

9. Submit the obituary to other newspapers. If there are other towns where your loved one lived and had a number of family or friends, you may want to submit the obit to those newspapers. Just check those newspapers’ guidelines and modify the style of the obit as necessary.

10. Check the obit when it prints in the paper. If there are errors, call your newspaper to let them know. Again, if you put up enough of a fuss, they should reprint it the next day for free. Believe me, we did free reprints all of the time.

Source: http://howtowrite.weebly.com/how-to-write-an-obituary.html

What’s The Difference Between An Obituary And A Death Notice

Dec - 03 2016 | no comments | By

Different newspapers have different terminology for obituaries and death notices, so you should check with the specific publications you’re interested in working with to understand the terms they use.

Here’s how newspapers and other media outlets often define the following terms:

Death notice: a paid announcement in a newspaper that gives the name of the person who died and details of the funeral or memorial service, as well as where donations can be made.

Obituary: an article written by the newspaper’s staff offering a detailed biography of the person who died.

Death Notice

A death notice is a paid notice (like a classified advertisement) that families can write and submit to the newspapers and publications of their choosing. Death notices announce that the person has died, and offer information on funeral services, where donations can be made in the name of the person who died, and minor biographical information.


An obituary is an editorial article announcing a person’s death and offering detailed biographical information. Unlike death notices, which the family writes, obituaries are usually written by the newspaper’s editors or reporters. At many newspapers, families can submit a request to have an obituary written about the person who died, though the newspaper ultimately decides whether or not to write the story.

Where To Publish A Death Notice

Traditionally, death notices are printed in local newspapers, national newspapers, and various other publications, such as local religious or volunteer organization newsletters. You may want to publish a death notice in the deceased’s hometown paper, as well as in the paper in the city where the person who died lived. There are also online obituary sites, which will publish an obituary online and may help you syndicate that obituary in the newspapers of your choice. In order to verify the death, the publication in which you are publishing the obituary will require confirmation of the death from the funeral home or crematory.

Where To Publish An Obituary

In most cases, major or national newspapers only publish the obituaries of famous or prominent people. However, many smaller or local newspapers will be amenable to publishing long-form obituaries. If your town or community has a newspaper, you may want to contact those publications to see what their obituary policies are. In addition, publications and newsletters put out by community organizations (such as churches, synagogues, or mosques; local social groups; or local volunteer groups) may also publish an obituary.

Cost Of Publishing Death Notices Or Obituaries

Newspapers will usually charge a fee for publishing a death notice, though the cost will depend on the on the newspaper and its pricing policies. Some papers will charge by word count, while others will charge by number of lines printed or number of inches printed. The cost also depends on the number of days that you want to notice to be printed in the paper, as well as which days of the week you’d like it to appear. (For example, publishing a death notice in a Sunday edition of the paper may be more expensive than in a Tuesday edition.) As death notices can get very expensive very quickly, it may be helpful to start by understanding the pricing rules of the paper you’re writing the death notice for and then determining the maximum length of the death notice.

Including A Photograph

Many newspapers will allow you to include a photograph of the person, often for a significant charge. Papers that do allow photos will specify whether photographs must be in black-and-white, or may be in color. These days, most papers will only accept digital images; that is, they will not accept a printed photograph.

Filing A Death Notice Or Obituary Through A Funeral Home

If you are working with a funeral home, they may offer to write the death notice and have it published for you. Some funeral homes will do this for free, while others may charge a fee. If you will be submitting death notices to multiple newspapers, it may be easiest to have the funeral home submit the death notices on your behalf, which can eliminate any stress or confusion that may arise. In addition, the funeral home can collect all the bills on your behalf, which can simplify the billing process.


Source: https://www.everplans.com/articles/whats-the-difference-between-an-obituary-and-a-death-notice

Obituaries and Death Notices Explained

Nov - 03 2016 | no comments | By

Within the puzzling series of events and course of action that follow a loved one’s death, there is often a formal announcement of the death – the placing of an obituary or death notice in a newspaper and/or online. The announcement of death is never something someone wants to hear, but almost like the act of dying itself, it is something necessary and essential.

It would be both awkward and painful to run into a distant relative one day, or an old family friend, and have them ask you about a loved one who’s already passed away, and you would have to break the news to them right there. In some respects, the purpose of a formal death announcement serves as the middle barrier to eliminate this potential awkwardness and pain.

In terms of formal death announcements, the funeral home could serve as the liaison between your family and the newspaper to place an obituary or death notice.  In most cases you could also contact the newspaper yourself and with proof of death and the request to place an obituary or death notice. Often times, it is simply much easier to go through the funeral home, as they have the contacts on hand and can handle the necessary tasks associated with submission. The charges for a death notice will be part of the Cash Advance items.

There are two types of formal death announcements:

Death Notices:

A death notice is  a service in which you pay the newspaper to publish information on the deceased and the funeral service information.  Placing a death notice is a equivalent to paying for an advertising spot or a classified ad but specifically in the Obituary section of the newspaper or online publication. This is what most people get.

In this section, a formal announcement of death is issued, as well as whatever you decide you want it to include.  You are paying for this information to appear, which is often by line, by word, or by inch – whatever the company indicates. Since there is a fee involved with publishing a death notice, death notices tend to be relatively short, and only include essential information such as the name of the person, date of death, a list of the deceased’s survivors, as well as funeral and charitable contribution information. Death notices are guaranteed to be published because they are paid for.

Here is an example of death notices from a regional newspaper website:  Death Notices


An obituary is a biographical article written by an editor or writer for the newspaper. The article illustrates the major events and captures the story of the deceased’s life.  Obituaries are viewed as stories for the newspaper and are generally published for free; therefore only a small number of obituaries are published in a newspaper per day.   As such, publication is not guaranteed for everyone. You would have to contact the newspaper company and submit an obituary request, drafting the interesting events in the deceased’s life. It is then up to the newspaper to decide which requests will be published and which will not. Often times, the editor decides on the obituary submissions deemed more interesting and publication-worthy. Obituaries may or may not contain funeral information.

The Main Different Between an Obituary and Death Notice

A lot of the times, people mistake an obituary for a death notice, or use them interchangeably, when in fact both terms mean very different things. To place an obituary is to submit a request for a story to be written about the deceased, while placing a death notice is more to the definition of formally announcing a death.

Most commonly, when a person dies, a death notice is issued in the newspaper. Both death notices and obituaries, when published, appear both on the physical paper edition, and online. In order to publish a death notice or place an obituary, you or your funeral director can contact the newspaper company through their department for death notices and obituary, either by e-mail or phone.

A special thank you to The Philadelphia Inquirer for information on death notices and obituaries.

Source: http://www.imsorrytohear.com/blog/obituaries-and-death-notices-explained/


Oct - 03 2016 | no comments | By

If your loved one just passed away, you may be asking yourself, “How do I write an obituary?” Some people feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of writing an obituary. They worry that they’ll forget important facts and information, or that the obit won’t fully capture their loved one’s life.

To assist, Legacy.com has prepared this guide to writing an obituary. Here are the most important things to keep in mind:

1. Always check with the newspaper and/or funeral home first. Many funeral homes provide forms for basic information and will write the full obituary for you as part of the services they provide. Some newspapers have specific style guidelines or restrictions on length, some only accept obituaries directly from funeral homes, and some only publish obituaries written by newspaper staff members.


2. Include biographical information, as much as you have available and feel comfortable sharing (the more information you include, the easier it is for acquaintances to identify the deceased as someone they knew). Some items you may wish to include:

  • Full name of the deceased (including maiden name, nickname, or any other name by which your loved one might be identified)
  • Dates and locations of birth, marriage, and death
  • Cause of death
  • Predeceased and surviving loved ones’ names
  • Schools attended
  • Military service
  • Place of employment and position held
  • Membership in organizations (for example, civic, fraternal, place of worship)
  • Hobbies or special interests

3. Consider listing one or more charities to which you’d like donations made.  If you do, be sure to include the address or url for the charity to make it easier for people to make donations.

4. If services are public, include full funeral service information: location, day, and time of visitation, memorial or funeral service, and burial.  If services are private, indicate so (for example, “Burial will be private” or “Private services will be held”).

5. If the family prefers monetary contributions rather than flowers, include a phrase such as: “In lieu of flowers, please consider the needs of the family” or “contributions suggested to the family,” or “the family is requesting financial assistance for the services.”

6. Plan to publish the obituary at least 1-2 days prior to services so that friends and family can make arrangements to attend. For information on how to submit an obituary to one of our 1500+ newspaper affiliates, click here.

Want your loved one’s obituary to be more memorable? Consider these tips from Legacy.com experts:

According to obituary writing expert Susan Soper, the founder and author of ObitKit®, A Guide to Celebrating Your Life, the interesting and memorable obit is in the details.

“If you are in a position of writing an obit, try to dig for the intimate details that will keep the person alive in memory: quirks, hobbies, favorite passions, oft-heard quotes, travels, food or unusual pursuits. It doesn’t matter if the person was a company president, an electrician, a cook or ballerina, everyone has a story to tell. But that story doesn’t come together by itself.  Ask friends, children, parents, co-workers and spouses for details they recall and favor. How did the person look or dress? What was his daily routine? Where did she find most happiness? Be creative, look outside the box to find the personality traits and characteristics to recall.”

Condolence and eulogy expert Florence Isaacs, author of My Deepest Sympathies: Meaningful Sentiments for Condolence Notes and Conversations, Plus a Guide to Eulogies, encourages obituary, eulogy and condolence note writers to reflect on what made your loved one unique.

“Try to remember specific instances where she made a difference in the lives of others, in her profession or field and/or in the community. Instead of just listing her achievements, tell a little story about some of them. Keep an eye out for moments that speak eloquently of her humanity, kindness, zest for life or even her cranky disposition—whatever fits. Did she take tango lessons or play poker in her eighties? Say so. Such information inspires people and helps them connect with the deceased. Before you sit down to write, take a day or so to think about what you want to say, and take notes as ideas come to you. Then get started.”

Source: http://www.legacy.com/news/advice-and-support/article/guide-to-writing-an-obituary

How to Make an Obituary Using Microsoft Word : Using MS Word

May - 05 2016 | no comments | By

Making an obituary using Microsoft Word is something that you can do with the help of the program’s built-in templates. Make an obituary using Microsoft Word with help from an experienced software professional in this free video clip.

Expert: Dan Davis
Contact: theDSAgency.com
Bio: Dan Davis has training in Microsoft Office, Windows, and a variety of other software.
Filmmaker: Patrick Russell

Series Description: Microsoft Word remains one of the most versatile word processing programs for the Windows and Mac platforms in existence today. Get tips on Microsoft Word with help from an experienced software professional in this free video series.

How to Write an Obituary

May - 05 2016 | no comments | By

Losing a loved one is very painful, and though writing about their life can be an arduous task, it can also be a therapeutic and wonderful way to honor your loved one.

Step 1: Read other obituaries
Read other obituaries to get a feel for how obituaries are commonly formatted and what information is used. Use your local newspaper, for example.

Step 2: Determine the specifics
Determine your price range and deadline times by talking with your funeral director or with the local newspaper where it will run. Newspapers have strict deadlines and charge by column width, length, or word count. Once you’ve obtained that information, you can begin the creative process.

Step 3: Make a list
Make a list of the basic information about the deceased you’d like to include. Most obituaries include the full name, age, birth date, place of residence, partner’s name, and where and when the memorial service will take place.

Avoid identity theft by withholding sensitive information in the obituary. Thieves can use gaps in reporting the death to steal birth certificates, social security numbers, and financial information.

Step 4: Make a second list
Create a second list of additional information. Some obituaries include the deceased’s educational background, employment, birth place, parents, children and grandchildren, pets, hobbies, accomplishments, organization affiliations, military service, and where people can send contributions or flowers.

Mention in the obituary if your family is having donations sent to an organization important to the deceased in lieu of flowers.

Step 5: Begin writing
Write the obituary by following the examples in your local paper and putting the pieces together one-by-one. Focus on the deceased’s full and wonderful life, not their death.

Step 6: Revise
Revise your original draft once it’s completed. Make any necessary changes and try to tighten up your writing.

Step 7: Proofread
Proofread your obituary thoroughly. You’ve put a lot of work into honoring your loved one, and you wouldn’t want to ruin that work by misspelling one of their children’s names. Now you can relax knowing that you’ve honored your loved one’s life.

Did You Know?
The newspaper-obituary tradition began to flourish at the London Times under the editorship of John Thadeus Delane, who served at the British paper from 1841-1877.

Searching For Newspaper Obituaries

May - 05 2016 | no comments | By


Newspaper obituaries are an important part of any genealogical search. When you know only the name and date of death of an individual, a newspaper obituary can help you find other information about the person and his or her family. This additional information can then help shape the rest of your research.

What is an Obituary?

An obituary is a notice that announces the death of someone with a description of the person’s life and list of family members. Sometimes an obituary can be called a death notice. An obituary can be published in a newspaper, online or in the funeral program. There are subtle differences in the obituary based on where it will be published and when it was published.

Where to search for Newspaper Obituaries?

The best resources for obituaries are at the library but more and more newspaper obituaries are becoming available online as more and more newspapers upload their archives onto their websites. If you are searching for an obituary from before the year 2000, you’ll have to go to a library and view the newspaper on microfilm or purchase a subscription to an obituary repository. For a list of online Newspaper Obituaries. Visit ObituariesHelp.org to find newspaper obituaries from across the country.

When searching for obituaries it’s important to investigate all possible newspapers that the obituary might appear in. Start by locating the newspapers of the city or region that the person was born in, lived for several years and the city they died in. If the deceased lived in several cities or has surviving family living in a particular city, chances are that the obituary many appear in more than one newspaper. It is also likely that the obituary may have different information depending on where it is published. Sometimes the city in which the person lived the longest will have a longer more in depth write up of the life and family of the deceased. But to make sure you get all the details, be sure to find the newspapers from all the cities and townships that the person had any contact with.

What do I need to know before I search for a Newspaper Obituary?

First and foremost you will need to know the deceased’s full name and approximate date of death. Knowing the exact date of death is even better because then it narrows your search to the date of death and about one week after. You are usually safe not looking more than a week after the date of death because obituaries are usually published as a death notice that includes the funeral service information or as a death announcement as close to the date of death as possible.

In addition to the name and date of death, date of birth is important too. There can be several people in the same community with the same name so knowing how old the person is when they died can make identifying the write ancestor much easier.

Of course you will also need to know the location. Where the deceased was born, where they died and where they spent most of their lives. As mentioned before, knowing the places the deceased lived will help you find the right newspapers and can lead you to different versions of the obituary.

Why search Newspaper Obituaries?

Genealogists both professional and amateur come to rely on the information found in obituaries to guide them on to other research. An obituary is the last and sometimes only article every written about a person and it can contain important information about who the person was, their relationships and interests. In short, obituaries add color and details about a life that otherwise may not be known. Clues about the clubs the deceased attended, awards, military service and religious affiliation can all be discovered in a well-written obituary. Most genealogists begin their research with obituaries so they know where to research next. For example if you find an obituary that gives the names of military regiments, you can then research military records about the battles the deceased participated in. The possibilities for research are endless when you start with newspaper obituaries.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/1994363