Resources

How to Write an Obituary

We recommend that our families prepare their obituary and submit it to us for publication via email. Below are some examples to help you.

Obituaries

An obituary notice can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish.  It can include everything we have listed below, as well as an overview of your loved ones life, their passions and accomplishments.  While there are costs involved in publishing an obituary, we can help you with newspapers locally, nationally, and internationally.  Or, you can utilize our On-Line Obituary page which is at no cost to the families we serve.  There you will have unlimited verbiage space, can upload any photos or videos, as well as driving directions for services. With our On-Line Obituary page you will also have the opportunity to order flowers or gifts.

  • An obituary is a tribute to your loved one’s life and is an opportunity to share a loved one’s memory with family, friends, and the community. The anecdotes you share will provide family and friends with a keepsake of memories. 
  • Also, an obituary serves an announcement of your loved one’s death to their professional and military communities, clubs, and charity organizations.
  • Obituaries also provide your family and friends with the information they need to pay their respects, such as the location of services and/or where to send sympathy gifts, flowers, or donations.

The contents of an obituary will vary depending on length. They include some or all of the following:

  • Announcement of Death 
    • Your loved one's full name and nicknames if any
    • Age at Death
    • City of residence
    • Date and place of death
    • Cause of death (optional)
  • Details of Life and Personality - When gathering this information, include your loved ones passions and accomplishments. 
  • Date and place of birth (optional)
  • Names of parents
  • Schools, friends, siblings
  •  Education - High school, college, vocational
  • Military Service
  • Marriage or significant other
  • Children
  • Profession
  • Awards and recognition
  • Places of residency
  • Hobbies, sports, interests, recreation, activities enjoyed, affiliatons and organizations
  • Survivors Listed by Kinship - You may also want to list family members who are pre-deceased, (optional).
  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Pets if appropriate
  • Services
    • Date, time and place of service
    • Visitation information if applicable
    • Reception information
    • Name of Mortuary and phone number
  • Closing
    • Where to send flowers, sympathy cards, and donations
    • Short quotation, poem, or lyric that represents your loved one's personality or beliefs
    • A photograph of your loved one (additional fee, please ask for quote)
    • If the death was a long process, consider thanking individuals, groups, neighbors, or institutions who helped at time of death. Also, remember those who helped during their life such as great teachers or friends. A simple thank you card to these people is also always appreciated. 

Examples

  • Raymond Francis Smith, 74, of Pine View, Oregon, beloved father, husband, grandfather, brother, died on July 28, 2007. Ray died suddenly at home after a heart attack. He was born on January 27, 1934 in Crystal, Idaho to Mary Batter and William Smith.

    Ray grew up in Crystal, Idaho and graduated from Shadow Valley High School in 1952, where he excelled in all sports. He had a distinguished and enjoyable career with Pine View Builders where he worked as a contractor 1955 - 1975. Ray was a member of the Elks Lodge for 35 years. He was also a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician for the Pine View Fire Department for 25 years. He enjoyed traveling with his wife Christine in their motor home, spending time with family and friends, and collecting rare coins.

    Ray is survived by his wife Christine Smith, son Robert Smith, sister Nora Blyth,, grand-daughter Kayleen Smith and many other friends and family. Ray built his life around his family and friends and his deep love, strength and integrity will greatly be missed.

    A "Celebration of Life" will be held at Pine View Memorial, 1273 Dew Rock Drive in Pine View Oregon on August 5, 2007, 11:30 am. Flowers are appreciated and should be sent to Pine View Memorial.
  • Mary Jade Pilsner, Keystone, Arizona resident, age 59, passed away Wednesday, November 6, 2007, after an incredibly courageous battle with ovarian cancer. She is survived by her husband of 33 years, Neil; her son John; daughter Kim; grandson Joey and brother Bill.

    Mary was a devoted wife, mother, and friend whose greatest pleasure was spending time with those she loved. She enjoyed gardening, tennis, and had a natural talent in golf. Mary spent her childhood and young adult life in Reno, Nevada, before moving to Keystone, AZ. In Reno, she attended University of Nevada with a Bachelor Degree in Social Services. She enjoyed her career of helping people, especially children. Everyone who knew her, loved her.

    The family would like to thank Dr. Sandra Owens for the extraordinary care given to Mary, and Father Robert Samson for his years of spiritual guidance.

    Services will be held at St. Josephs Catholic Church, 131 Hilary Drive, in Keystone on Wednesday, November 13, 2007 at 10:30 am. A private family burial will be held at Fernwood Cemetery at a later date. Floral donations can be sent to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Monetary donations can be sent to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (www.ovariancancer.org) or your favorite charity.

    I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains. ~Anne Frank

Things to Consider when Printing an Obituary in a Newspaper

  • We recommend never listing the address of a private home in the newspaper
  • If costs are a concern, our families have the option of submitting a brief obituary notice in the newspaper that will direct readers to our online website where a complete obituary and photographs are posted.
  • Time the obituary to run a few days before services . Know the publication’s daily deadline so you know the obituary will run when you want it too.
  • Read some of the other obituaries printed by your selected publication to get an idea of what their obituaries generally read like. This will prevent the publication from making their own revisions to your loved one’s obituary.
  • Request a final proof from the publication to be confirmed before printing.
  • Always proof read for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Also, have a friend or family member proof the obituary to limit the chance of errors.
  • Consider submitting the obituary to other publications where your loved may have lived previously.

If you find yourself struggling with writing a love one’s obituary, please feel free to call us (877) 872-2736.