Sharing a life story with your community.

An obituary should tell a life story. In addition, an obituary usually includes the notice of the death, names of family members, information about services that may be held and instructions for memorial donations. Before writing your obituary, it is advisable to contact your local newspaper(s) for their guidelines as costs often vary greatly between publications. Always remember the obituary is reflective of a life lived and it is the family's choice on what is included.  The tips we offer are only suggestions to assist in beginning the process.

Writing Tips

  • Tell a story. An obituary should let the reader know more than just facts about the birth and death of the deceased. Be accurate.
  • Have at least one other family member read the completed obituary to ensure the accuracy of the information.
  • Decide how many generations are going to be included in the obituary. Normally, listings include all immediate family including grandparents (if applicable).
  • Describe the deceased in the third person person (he or she).
  • The obituary should begin with the deceased person's full name, nickname, age at death, residence, day, date, place and cause of death.
  • The life story should begin with place and date of birth. List the deceased's parent's names and include the mother's maiden name. Childhood and high school education and special awards may be included.
  • Date of marriage and name of spouse, including maiden name.
  • It is optional, and at the family's discretion, whether to include information regarding a marriage that may have ended in divorce.
  • Places of residence are often listed.
  • Hobbies, enjoyments, memberships, or affiliations.
  • "Survived by" or "Survivors include" begins with spouse and their place of residence. This is followed by names of children by birth order. Children's spouse's names and their place of residence is often included.
  • Parents, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, special friends, and pets may be listed.
  • Predeceased family members usually include spouse, children, parents, siblings, and grandchildren.
  • Memorial suggestions include the name of charity or organization and contact information.
  • Special thank you sentiments and/or a favorite quote.
  • Website information directing the reader to the online obituary (if selected). Placing an obituary on our website allows access to the obituary from anywhere in the world and offers the ability for family and friends to leave condolences directly to the family.

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