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Writing An Obituary

How to Write an Obituary

Writing an obituary is on of the most vital parts included in the printed obituary program. There are two types of obituaries: the newspaper obituary and the printed funeral program. If time permits, we suggest you write the full obituary first. This will create more than enough information to produce a condense version to submit to the newspaper.

The first step in writing an obituary is selecting the obituary writer. The writer should be someone close to the family and who personally knew the deceased. The writer can then gather pertinent information from family, relatives and friends about the decease. The submitted information should be verified with family members to ensure its accuracy.

The actual writing of the obituary can be far more convenient by using a word processor. Word processors have tools to format text, correct spelling and grammar combined with a dictionary and thesaurus. This will help in making the arduous task of writing and editing the obituary, manageable.

When writing the obituary we suggest writing the events in chronological order. Starting with date of birth, birthplace, childhood, education, occupation, marriage, and children. This will create a flow to your writing by keeping the events in order.

The bereaved family should be considered whether or not to publicize the cause death. Some illnesses are far more sensitive than others and should be treated delicately. Most importantly, it’s best to honor the family’s wishes in how to portray their loved one.

Listing the Survivors
The survivors list should begin with listing the: Spouse & Children’s, Mother & Father, Brothers and Sisters, Grandparents, Nieces, Nephews & other Relatives. The end of each survivor list should end with a semi colon (;). Be sure to spell out the numbers as proper protocol. For example, 5 children should be listed as (five children).

The Interment
The final resting place is known as the Interment in the funeral industry. The Interment is the ritual of placing the decease in the grave. Be sure to list the cemetery address information in the last paragraph of the obituary. You may also list this information on the front cover of the funeral program.

Link #2: Obituary Guide