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Obituary announcement example
November 23, 2018 Anniversary Wishes 4 comments

writing obituaries for newspapers, death announcements, obituary program templates, obituary template.

From the minute we were born to the moment we take our last breath, there is that little time in between it all that we call life. Though change is the only thing constant in this world, the concept of losing someone forever is something that’s difficult to grasp. For the most part, you’re forced to face reality for what it is. But, then comes the grueling process of making the announcement in the form of an obituary. Since obituary writing may be the last thing you’d ever imagine yourself composing, it’s important to begin by understanding what an obituary really is.

The Art of Writing Obituaries

Why do we write obituaries? With the widespread use of modern-day technology, can’t announcements be made via texts or calls instead of taking the time to write a simple obituary?

Many would say that the general purpose of an obituary is to report the recent death of a person while also providing distinctive information about the deceased including one’s upbringing, noteworthy achievements, and service details. Although this is, in fact, true, obituaries also hold a sentimental value that can leave a lasting impression towards friends, family, and acquaintances of the deceased. You may also see personal obituary examples.

Most of us are familiar with newspaper obituaries, or we’ve probably written one similar to it before. Unlike a short eulogy, an obituary tends to be more sincere and formal in nature. There are many obituaries being published online and in the print that is more refined than others. Some people even go as far as creating a full-page obituary for a well-respected publication such as the New York Times. This is typically done to pay tribute to significant individuals of a given entity or industry.

Despite its general function, obituaries usually vary in terms of content. Nearly every obituary focuses on the positive qualities of the deceased to honor the life that had been lived, but there are also an infamous few that can be a bit too honest and straightforward for readers to comprehend. This type of obituaries is far from ideal — stripping away the basic perception of an obituary as a material used to aggrandize a person — but are still an acceptable piece of writing nonetheless. You may also see What is an Obituary?

However, we must keep in mind that obituaries are more preferred that they are mandatory. It’s not something every person should have when they pass away, as most people consider obituaries as a channel to communicate with loved ones and to celebrate one’s life. But, if you do decide on having an obituary, the decision of writing it on your own or having it made by a professional writer is all up to you. You may also see catholic obituary examples

The Evolution of Obituaries

Like everything else in this world, obituaries have undergone a few changes throughout history in terms of structure and value. From a to-the-point announcement of one’s death to an epic account of an individual’s life, obituaries can be a unique mix of sad, sweet, inspiring, and witty all at once. You may also see free writings.

During the early years of America, obituaries went through different name changes such as “Memorial Advertisements” and “Bill of Mortality”, but still served as a channel to inform a community of a recent passing. But, because newspaper printing was a time-consuming process back then, obituaries were kept as short as possible. You may also see how to write an obituary.

Then came the prominent use of obituaries during the Civil War. Obituaries during this tragic time in history was incredibly sentimental and religious in nature, consisting of more biographical details than normal, along with a list of genealogical information to help spread the word to family and relatives of the deceased. Fortunately, the gradual evolution of print press technology has allowed newspapers and magazines to print longer obituaries for the benefit of the deceased’s loved ones. You may also see essay writings.

The golden age of obituaries during the late 20th century paved the way for the revolutionary change of such as an art form. Obituaries during this era were rich in details, and writers often put investigative work into their writings to tell a story in a powerful way. You may also see formal writings.

Today, technology and the birth of the internet has allowed us to share these stories online. This has made it easier for friends and family of the deceased to connect with one another through various platforms for quick and efficient information dissemination. You may also see article writings.

Parts of an Obituary

Similar to a death notice, an obituary is a type of editorial piece written to announce the death of a particular individual. This means that an obituary must be made informative enough to keep readers updated. The standard information included in an obituary are as follows:

  • The full name of the person who died, which may also include one’s maiden name or nickname.
  • Date and location of death.
  • Funeral and/or memorial service details (public or private); if public– date, time, and location of service. Otherwise, readers must be informed that the ceremony shall be kept private.

There are some obituaries that may also include the following details:

  • Cause of death
  • Name of funeral home coordinating the service (location is optional)
  • Names of surviving family members
  • Name of charity or foundation to which donations shall be made

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a right or a wrong way to write an obituary. As long as it serves its desired purpose, anything else you put would depend on how you wish to pay tribute to the deceased.

Examples of a Short Obituary

Now that we have finally established what an obituary is and what it contains, it’s now time to write your own. While obituaries come in different lengths, depending on space availability and preference, most obituaries are kept short and simple. You can refer to these examples for guidance:

Example 1

Mary Lewis passed away in Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center on the evening of May 8, 2017, at the age of 73. She will be greatly missed for her unique sense of humor and immense care for others. Respects can be paid during her funeral at Princeton Cemetery on 29 Greenview Ave, Princeton, New Jersey on Sunday, May 11 at 2 p.m.

Example 2

Mary Elaine Jefferson, January 17, 1947 – June 15, 2017, Erie, PA

Mary lived a fulfilling life as a loving mother to five children, a caring sister to three siblings, an amazing wife to her late husband Jerry, and a friend to many. She enjoyed knitting and reading old novels during her spare time, and she loved having Sunday BBQs with her family. As per request, funeral services will be kept private and for immediate family only. Those wishing to honor her life can make a donation in her name directly to Blankets for Babies.

Example 3

Our community sadly lost a pillar on Friday, January 9, 2013, when Mrs. Belinda Cassandra Cyrus, favorably known by many as Miss B, passed away from natural causes. Her contributions to the lives of many include the creation of the community’s beloved Christmas for Kids charity organization, a 20-year stint as Vice President of the Neighborhood Watch Program, the development of the government-funded student mentoring program, and she was also an active member of Paws United of Maryville, a local foundation dedicated to saving the lives of stray animals. 

Belinda is survived by the loving community of Maryville and her husband of 55 years, Mr. Bobby Cyrus, their three sons; Ben Cyrus, Gabriel Cyrus, and Trevor Cyrus, along with their wives and children. Mrs. Cyrus is also survived by one sister, Sydney Jane Rowel and several cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Rowel, two sisters, April Wilkinson and Geraldine Lodge, and one brother, Matt Rowel.

Her legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of everyone she interacted with as well as those she has touched but never met. Share your stories of remembrance on Friday, January 11, 2013, at Grandview Baptist Church from 2 – 4 p.m. You can help continue her kindness, loyalty and compassion by making a donation to, or volunteering at, one of the organizations Miss B loved.

Example 4

Atty. Benjamin “Benji” Moore, 82, of Grand Rapids, died Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital. He was born on May 21, 1935, to Rafael Moore and Lorna Jane Moore in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Benji attended A&I and in 1953 joined the Navy, where he was a member of the honor guard, serving four years on the U.S.S. Laffey, before attending Western Michigan University Cooley Law School to study law. He married Gwenneth Stump and they had two children, Jonathan and Tracy. He opened his own law firm at age 45 to continue on with his service. He retired after 25 years of service and opened a small diner in his hometown.

Benji is survived by his wife, son, daughter, three grandsons, four great-grandchildren, and brother Jeremy Moore. He was preceded in death by his parents; many friends and relatives; and his three dogs, Chipper, Delilah, and Lassie.

Visitation will be on Tuesday, 17th of October, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes in Grand Rapids. Funeral services will follow on Thursday, October 19, 2017, at 3 p.m. at St. Isidore Catholic Church with the Rev. King Davidson officiating. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Grand Rapids. Pallbearers will be Jim Steinfeld, Ronald Moore, Yohan Moore, Bobbie Moore, Bruce Turk, Greggory Turk, Wallace Mills, and Lance Simpson.

Example 5

Dr. Stephen Garcia III, 84, died peacefully in his sleep on February 8, 2014, in Buffalo, NY.

Stephen was born on March 13, 1929, in San Diego, CA to Stephen Garcia II and Carly Rae Garcia. He attended University at Buffalo for pre-medicine and graduated from New York University in 1960 with his medical degree. He married in 1955 to Katie Henderson, and the couple had four children together. He practiced general medicine at the Erie County Medical Center for 33 years.

Stephen is survived by his wife, Katie; their children, Hanna Welsh, Blaire Williams, Stephen Garcia IV, and Mark Garcia; and his grandchildren, Bernard Welsh, Indiana Williams, Kendra Garcia, Kayla Garcia, and Justin Garcia. He is preceded in death by his parents, Stephen and Carly; and his sister, Georgia Garcia.

A funeral is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at Lombardo Funeral Home, with a reception to follow. Rev. John Navarro will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Stephen’s life.

When it comes to writing an obituary, many newspapers and magazines have standard formats to follow, while others provide clients with the creative liberty to create the obituary in whatever form. Regardless of how you wish to construct your obituary, it’s highly advisable to keep it as concise as possible. This will help preserve the true essence of the written material as a means of honoring our departed loved ones. So, the next time you’re tasked to create an obituary, we hope you keep what you’ve learned in this article close to mind.

An obituary is essentially a notice of death, mostly a newspaper article that has a brief description of the biography of a deceased person.

How To Write An Obituary – A Step-by-Step Guide

obituary announcement example

Writing an Obituary

Writing an obituary for a newspaper or online memorial.

There are 2 basic styles of obituary, a short obituary, and a longer more detailed obituary. 


For a short obituary, the most common layout of information is as follows.


-Paragraph One-  Name/Announcement

This paragraph should contain the following information:  Full name of deceased, date of passing, place of passing, age of passing.   A common opening would be "It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of...."

Example:   It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of John Phillip Doe, on Sunday, February 3rd, 2010 at the Cooperstown General Hospital at the age of 76.

-Paragraph Two-  Predeceased

The second paragraph is usually where the predeceased are listed.  Commonly ordered  Spouse, Parents, Children, Grandchildren, Siblings, Grandparents, Others: Cousins, Neices, Nephews, In-laws, Best Friends.

Example:  John was predeceased by his beloved wife Jane, Parents Jack and Martha, Grandparents Mark and Betty....

-Paragraph Three - Survived by

The third paragraph contains the surviving family members using the same order as listed above.  Common openers are "Left to cherish his/her memory", "____ is survived by" ,"Left to mourn"

Example: John is survived by his beloved wife Jane, Parents Jack and Martha, Daughter Rebecca, son James, and numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.

-Paragraph Four - Funeral Service Information

The fourth paragraph should contain information about the funeral, visitations/wakes/viewings, and interment.  The date, time, location and names of officiants of these events should be listed.

Example:  Funeral Service to take place on Wednesday, February 6th, 2010 at The Cooperstown Catholic Church, at 1 pm with Father Bill Bishop officiating.  Interment to follow in the Cooperstown Cemetery.

-Paragraph Five - Closing Paragraph

The closing paragraph can contain information about charities that people may donate to in lieu of flowers as well as any acknowledgements from the family.

Example:  In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, donations can be made in John's Memory to the Canadian Cancer Society, 10 Alcorn Ave., Suite 200, Toronto, ON, M4V 3B1.  The family would like to thank the staff at the Cooperstown Hospital for their care of Dad and to the Members of Cooperstown for all their support.


The layout for a Longer Obituary would contain all of the Above PLUS a paragraph reserved for a life story of the deceased.  Usually placed after the Survived By paragraph and before the Funeral Service Information.


-Life Story Paragraph-

Can contain the following information:  Date and place of birth. Parents names. Childhood life: Friends/School info/Siblings.  Marriage info-When, Where.  Employment history.  Hobbies.  Achievements.  Funny Stories.

Example:  John was born in Allansdale, April 28th, 1924 to Jack and Martha Doe.  He grew up in Allansdale and attended school at Allansdale High.  After graduating John moved to Cooperstown where he worked worked doing heavy construction.  It was here that he met his future wife Jane.  After 2 years of dating John finally popped the question and they were married 10 months later.  John loved fishing and hunting, everyone will always remember the time John and his fishing buddies were so excited to go fishing that they left to go to the cabin only to find out when they got there that they had left all their fishing rods at home!  Later in life John loved visits from his grandchildren whom he adored.



Although this is a basic layout for an obituary, they can be made and ordered in any way that you choose, this is only a guideline, if you require any assistance in writing an obituary you can contact us at the funeral home and we can help.




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Writing an Obituary

obituary announcement example

Life is short. We can never really predict what happens to us in the next minute or so. While announcing one’s death is the last thing you’d want to do, it’s a common tradition that many members of the community practice to keep everyone up to date. An obituary report templates are the recent passing of an individual, an account of his or her life, as well as information regarding the person’s funeral or memorial. To make sure your announcement is seen by the desired audience, a good design should help it stand out.

Best Obituary Announcement Examples & Templates

1. Customizable Funeral Obituary Announcement

Use a customizable funeral obituary to announce one’s passing with the help of this template. You can write the obituary on your own by personalizing the content of the template and replacing it with the deceased individual’s personal information. It’s the quickest way to create a formal obituary without having to hire someone to do it for you.

2. Death and Funeral Obituary Announcement

An obituary is often used to make the announcement of one’s death and funeral to inform those who might have known the deceased and wish to pay their respects. An event announcement like this might seem a bit too sensitive to put in a public newspaper, but you’d be surprised by how informative this can be to colleagues, clients, friends, and relatives of the deceased. Details on one’s death and funeral service should be made clear and straightforward for readers to get the information they need right away.

3. Editable Funeral Obituary Announcement

Need a funeral obituary ASAP? This editable funeral obituary announcement may be customized according to your needs and preferences. An elegant design like this allows you to get your message across in style. You can use the announcement template when you’re in a rush or simply having trouble creating an obituary for someone you know. Hiring a professional writer from the newspaper agency will add to your already lengthy list of funeral expenses, so you might as well take this matter into your own hands.

4. Funeral Obituary Announcement

Notify family and friends of a person’s passing through a funeral obituary. The announcement should contain the necessary details of one’s death along with the upcoming funeral services prepared. Using an eye-catching layout for the obituary will help you draw attention to the matter at hand. This is especially important when you want to make sure that the intended readers are aware of a person’s death thanks to the newspaper obituary that was made.

5. Funeral Obituary Announcement for Father

Losing the man in your life that you look up to the most is never easy. In addition to your funeral speech, you can also honor the life of your father by crafting a well-written and creatively designed obituary announcement. Adding personal images of the deceased along with old family photos is a great way to personalize your obituary for a more intimate look and feel. This will stimulate certain emotions among readers and add value to your funeral announcement.

6. Obituary Death Announcement

Although an obituary is meant to be a report that we put in our daily paper, there’s no rule against making the announcement through a card. Mailing this death announcement to a list of recipients will ensure that your message reaches the right people on time. You can make your obituary as simple or as sophisticated as you want it to be, as long you are able to relay the correct details for readers to grasp.

7. Obituary Funeral Announcement for Kids

No parent should ever get the chance to bury their child. Unfortunately, there are things in life that go beyond our control. In circumstances like this, all you can do is make the most out of the situation for the sake of those involved. An obituary funeral announcement for kids will help you do just that through its captivating design. Instead of mourning the loss of a loved one, you can celebrate the life they lived by creating memorial pieces that reflect who they were. You can even keep a clipping of the obituary to treasure for the rest of your life.

8. Formal Obituary Announcement


While scanning through the pages of the morning paper, you might have come across the obituary section and noticed a few names and faces being printed. Shown above is an example of an obituary announcement that you’re likely to find in your local newspaper. The passing of a member of the community, whether or not they played a significant role in the city’s history, is often featured in the paper for personal reasons. But in large cities and larger newspapers, obituary announcements are only written for prominent people.

9. Professional Obituary Announcement


An obituary can sometimes come in the form of a funeral program. It can be used to deliver the news of one’s passing by indicating the date of birth and death of the individual, details on the funeral services, and a brief acknowledgment from the family of the deceased. The obituary above is an example of a professional way of announcing a person’s death so relatives and friends of the departed are made aware. It follows a basic structure that makes it easy for readers to find the information they are looking for at a glance.

10. Simple Obituary Announcement


Some people invest a good amount of resources into creating a good obituary, similar to the example given. Thanks to modern design tools and software applications, you can get creative with your funeral and death announcements as a way of paying tribute to the dearly departed. The format of the obituary may vary depending on your personal preferences and printing requirements, so be sure to clarify your plans with the newspaper’s editing team before you decide to use a colorful or lengthy structure.

Practical advice on writing an obituary, with obituary examples Make sure that you confirm when your obituary or death notice has to be.

Short Obituary Examples

obituary announcement example

After the loss of a loved one, family members are often overwhelmed by all of the decisions that have to be made in the midst of their grief. One of the details that has to be taken care of is the writing of the obituary. If you have recently lost a loved one and don’t know where to start with the obituary, you may find the following tips useful. This information will walk you step-by-step through the process of writing a great obituary.

Announce the death

Start off the obituary by announcing the death of the loved one. Provide the name and a very brief description, the age of the deceased, and the day of passing. You can probably squeeze all of this information into one sentence. For example:

On Monday, September 4, 2017, John Doe, loving husband and father of four children, passed away at the age of 74.

Provide general biographical information

Include some biographical information such as birth date, upbringing, education, marriage information, accomplishments, and work history. Be compact and precise with your wording. Try to get as much meaning into as few words as possible.

John was born on July 31, 1943 in Houston, TX to Bob and Jane (Smith) Doe. He received his law degree from the University of Texas in Austin in 1971, and he practiced business law for 31 years in Houston. On May 28, 1975, he married Grace Ann Lewis. They raised two sons, Nick and Joel, and two daughters, Alice and Lisa.

Make it personal

To write a great obituary, it’s important to capture the spirit of the loved one who has passed. Compose a paragraph that describes not only what your loved one did, but also what your loved one was like. For example, focus on hobbies, passions, and personal characteristics. Remember, newspapers will charge you by line, word, or inch (depending on the publication), so don’t write more than you can afford. A short, factual obituary might be all you need. But if you want to write a special, personalized obituary, include details like this:

John had a passion for painting. He also loved to bird watch, and he combined his two favorite hobbies to create extraordinary art. His paintings of various birds were much admired not only by friends and family, but also by all who frequented the coffee shops where his paintings were displayed. He was also an avid music lover and a collector of Beatles memorabilia. He was known for his quick wit, his infectious smile, and his kind and compassionate spirit.

Listing the family members

While you don’t have to mention every nephew and cousin by name, it’s important to write a general overview of the family members who passed away before the loved one as well as the surviving family. Close family members can be listed by name, and other relatives can be referred to more generally.

John was preceded in death by his father, Bob, and his mother, Jane. He is survived by his wife Grace, his four children, Nick, Joel, Alice, and Lisa, his brother Paul, and several cousins, nieces, and a nephew.

Funeral information

Provide the date, time, and location of the funeral. Also include information regarding donations, flowers, or condolences.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at the Church of Christ on Main Street at 1 o’clock p.m. Flowers or donations may be sent to 1234 St. Houston, TX.

Put it all together, and you’ve got a complete obituary.

                                                                          Sample Obituary

On Monday, September 4, 2017, John Doe, loving husband and father of four children, passed away at age 74.

John was born on July 31, 1943 in Houston, TX to Bob and Jane (Smith) Doe. He received his law degree from the University of Texas in Austin in 1971, and practiced business law for 31 years in Houston. On May 28, 1975, he married Grace Lewis Doe. They raised two sons, Nick and Joel, and two daughters, Alice and Lisa.

John had a passion for painting. He also loved to bird watch, and he combined his two favorite hobbies to create extraordinary art. His paintings of various birds were much admired not only by friends and family, but also by all who frequented the coffee shops where his paintings were displayed. He was also an avid music lover and a collector of Beatles memorabilia. He was known for his quick wit, his infectious smile, and his kind and compassionate spirit.

John was preceded in death by his father, Bob, and his mother, Jane. He is survived by his wife Grace, his four children, Nick, Joel, Alice, and Lisa, his brother Paul, and several cousins, nieces, and a nephew. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at the Church of Christ on Main Street at 1 o’clock p.m. Flowers or donations may be sent to 1234 St. Houston, TX.

Review for mistakes

Check, check, and check again. Once you are satisfied with the finished product, pass it off to a friend or a dispassionate third party for review. Since obituaries are composed during a time of grief, it’s not always easy to keep a clear mind when writing one. It’s always good to get multiple perspectives. When you are sure that the obituary is as good as it can be, send it off for publication.

For examples of unusual and inspirational obituaries, visit these pages:

This Incredible Obituary May Be the Best Thing You Read All Week

Betsy Cohen

Seattle Author’s Powerful Self-Written Obituary Goes Viral

94-year-old’s obituary is what every mom hopes her kids will write for her

Begin the obituary with a statement that highlights basic facts about your These obituaries examples are more unique.

obituary announcement example
Written by JoJolmaran
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