Thursday, May 19, 2016

Proper Format for Writing an Obituary

Creating an obituary template for a person you love may not be easy. As you know, losing someone dear to you is a very emotional experience. But keep in mind that an obituary is something that should be done with utmost care and thought. Just like the funeral itself, obituary is very important as it acknowledges the loss of your special someone. If you need to create an obituary, here is the proper format that you can follow.

obituary template in program

Announcement of Death

The obituary must start with the name of the deceased, age and the place of residence at the time of death. The announcement can be communicated in various ways. 

You can say “went to be with the Lord”, “passed away”, “after a long struggle”, “surrounded by her family”, etc. 

You can simply say “died”, but some people might find this to be too blunt, and thus, using flowery phrases such as the ones mentioned is a much proper way of announcing the death of someone.

But when it comes to the announcement, you can basically say it in whatever means you are comfortable with.

Biographical Sketch

Remember that an obituary is not a biography. It is recounting one of the most important qualities, events and memories in a person’s life. Remember that each and every human being’s life is unique, but the most important milestones in all of our lives are birthday, wedding day, baptism, etc.

On this section of the obituary, you can include the parents’ names, grandparents, spouse or partner’s name, children, grandkids, educational attainment, work, military service, etc. It is also important to keep in mind that an obituary is not some kind of a legal document. So if possible, you don’t need to mention about the divorce, adoption, etc.


It has been said that the funeral is in fact for the living. This is the same with the obituary. It is for the living too and the most important section of the obituary is the listing of the surviving family members. So right after you have created the biographical sketch, the next thing to write on the obituary is the Family details.

Among the family details is the name of spouse, kids, grand kids, great grand kids, parents, siblings, etc. In some instances where there are just too many grand kids, you can simply mention "many grandchildren”. It is also important to include the partner's surname if he or she is not yet married to the deceased.

Service Time

After the family details, the next thing to include on the obituary is the information about the funeral service, which should include the date and time. The local tradition and religious beliefs will often vary, so you better consult with the local papers for the specific order of service, the time, date, etc.

It is also a good idea to include some special messages or instructions. For instance, if you want to receive donation for charity instead of flowers, then you can include that at the end of the obituary.

If you need a template for obituary, the Internet is the best place to go to when it comes to this.

Feel free to share your ideas of what to insert in an obituary by writing a comment below.

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