Obituaries How-To

What is an obituary?

Typically and obituary is an article placed in the paper that gives an account of the recent death of a person. It will talk a little bit about the person's life and information about an upcoming service. There are two types of obituaries that can be written. The first is a death notice, this leaves out most of the biographical details of a person's life and simply states the passing. The other type is a paid memorial advertisement which is usually written by a family member or friend. Both types of obituaries are run in the classified advertisements of a newspaper. Check with your local newspaper for rates as they vary and can be pricier depending on which paper you select.

Where can I place an online obituary?

Today the most common type of memorial placement is online. With the advent of Facebook many find that this is actually the easiest and most cost effective way to let family and friends know about the passing of a loved one. We are also happy to add a simple one here for you as well.

What does an obituary typically look like?

If the thought of creating an obituary seems intimidating we found a really helpful website that had great tips and pointers. We have put a general outline here for you to look at, but please click on the link provided for more information and resources.


    • Full name of the deceased, including nickname, if any

    • Age at death

    • Residence (for example, the name of the city) at death

    • Day and date of death (remember to include the year)

    • Place of death

    • Cause of death

  • LIFE

    • Date of birth 

    • Place of birth

    • Names of parents

    • Childhood: siblings, stories, schools, friends

    • Marriage(s): date of, place, name of spouse

    • Education: school, college, university and other

    • Designations, awards, and other recognition

    • Employment: jobs, activities, stories, colleagues, satisfactions, promotions, union activities, frustrations

    • Military service

    • Places of residence

    • Hobbies, sports, interests, activities, and other enjoyment

    • Charitable, religious, fraternal, political, and other affiliations; positions held

    • Achievements

    • Disappointments

    • Unusual attributes, humor, other stories


    • Survived by (and place of residence):

      • Spouse

      • Children (in order of date of birth, and their spouses)

      • Grandchildren

      • Great-grandchildren

      • Great-great-grandchildren

      • Parents

      • Grandparents

      • Siblings (in order of date of birth)

      • Others, such as nephews, nieces, cousins, in-laws

      • Friends

      • Pets (if appropriate)

  • Predeceased by (and date of death):

    • Spouse

    • Children (in order of date of birth)

    • Grandchildren

    • Siblings (in order of date of birth)

    • Others, such as nephews, nieces, cousins, in-laws

    • Pets (if appropriate)


    • Day, date, time, place

    • Name of officiant, pallbearers, honorary pallbearers, other information

    • Visitation information if applicable: day, date, time, place

    • Reception information if applicable: day, date, time, place

    • Other memorial, vigil, or graveside services if applicable: day, date, time, place

    • Place of interment

    • Name of funeral home in charge of arrangements

    • Where to call for more information (even if no service planned)

  • END

    • Memorial funds established

    • Memorial donation suggestions, including addresses

    • Thank you to people, groups, or institutions

    • Quotation or poem 

    • Three words that sum up the life