How to Write an Obituary (Ultimate Guide + 40 Examples) - Writing Beginner (2024)

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What Is an Obituary? What to Put In an Obituary? What Not To Include in an Obituary How to Write an Obituary (Step-by-Step) Gather Information Start with the Basics Write a Short Biography List Family Members Provide Funeral Details Add Personal Touches Review and Edit Submit for Publication 40 Obituary Examples Example 1: Traditional Obituary Example 2: Modern Obituary Example 3: Obituary for a Young Person Example 4: Obituary for a Veteran Example 5: Obituary for a Community Leader Example 6: Obituary for a Teacher Example 7: Obituary for an Artist Example 8: Obituary for a Child Example 9: Obituary for a Business Owner Example 10: Obituary for a Scientist Example 11: Obituary for a Musician Example 12: Obituary for a Religious Leader Example 13: Obituary for an Athlete Example 14: Obituary for a Chef Example 15: Obituary for a Pilot Example 16: Obituary for a Volunteer Example 17: Obituary for a Journalist Example 18: Obituary for a Librarian Example 19: Obituary for a Humanitarian Example 20: Obituary for a Historian Example 21: Obituary for a Mechanic Example 22: Obituary for a Politician Example 23: Obituary for a Lawyer Example 24: Obituary for an Environmentalist Example 25: Obituary for a Farmer Example 26: Obituary for a Philanthropist Example 27: Obituary for a Dentist Example 28: Obituary for a Police Officer Example 29: Obituary for a Pilot Example 30: Obituary for a Realtor Example 31: Obituary for a Chef Example 32: Obituary for an Architect Example 33: Obituary for a Teacher Example 34: Obituary for a Scientist Example 35: Obituary for a Pastor Example 36: Obituary for a Judge Example 37: Obituary for an Engineer Example 38: Obituary for a Nurse Example 39: Obituary for a Social Worker Example 40: Obituary for a Firefighter Simple Obituary Template Obituary Template Final Thoughts: How to Write an Obituary Related Posts FAQs

Writing an obituary can be challenging, especially during a time of loss.

Here is a quick summary of how to write an obituary:

Write an obituary by gathering information about the deceased. Start with basic details like name, age, and dates. Summarize their life story and achievements, listing surviving and predeceased family members. Provide funeral details, add personal anecdotes, and review for accuracy.

This guide will help you write a meaningful obituary, providing step-by-step instructions and 40 examples to inspire you.

What Is an Obituary?

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How to Write an Obituary (Ultimate Guide + 40 Examples) - Writing Beginner (1)

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An obituary is a written announcement of a person’s death, typically published in newspapers or online.

It includes details about the deceased’s life, their family, and funeral arrangements.

Obituaries serve multiple purposes: they inform the community, honor the deceased, and provide closure for family and friends.

They often highlight significant life events, achievements, and the person’s impact on those around them.

What to Put In an Obituary?

Here is what you should include in any obituary that you write:

  • Full name: Include any nicknames or maiden names.
  • Date of birth and death: Provide the exact dates.
  • Place of birth: Where the deceased was born.
  • Key life events: Marriage, education, career, and notable achievements.
  • Surviving family members: List immediate family members.
  • Predeceased family members: Mention close relatives who passed away earlier.
  • Funeral arrangements: Date, time, and location of the service.
  • Memorial donations: If applicable, suggest where donations can be made in memory of the deceased.
  • Personal anecdotes: Share stories or quotes that reflect the person’s character and life.

What Not To Include in an Obituary

Writing an obituary involves sharing personal and important information, but there are some details you should avoid including.

Here’s what to leave out:

  • Sensitive Personal Information: Avoid sharing the deceased’s full address, social security number, or any other personal identification details that could be misused. This protects against potential identity theft or fraud.
  • Detailed Cause of Death: While it’s acceptable to mention the cause of death, avoid going into graphic or overly detailed explanations. A simple statement like “passed away after a long illness” is sufficient.
  • Negative Personal Traits or Stories: An obituary should celebrate the deceased’s life and achievements. Avoid including negative anecdotes, personal conflicts, or unflattering characteristics.
  • Specifics About Valuable Assets: Do not list valuable possessions, such as jewelry or expensive collections, to prevent theft. Mentioning general interests or hobbies is fine without detailing specific items.
  • Private Family Disputes: Keep the focus on honoring the deceased. Avoid including any information about family disputes, estrangements, or unresolved conflicts. This keeps the tone respectful and positive.
  • Overly Personal or Private Details: Respect the deceased’s privacy by not sharing overly intimate or personal details about their life that might be inappropriate for public knowledge.

How to Write an Obituary (Step-by-Step)

First, here’s a summary of the steps for how to write an obituary (then we’ll explore each step in detail below):

  1. Gather Information: Collect details about the deceased’s life, family, and funeral plans.
  2. Start with the Basics: Name, age, date of birth, and date of death.
  3. Write a Biography: Summarize their life story, including major milestones and achievements.
  4. List Family Members: Include surviving and predeceased relatives.
  5. Provide Funeral Details: Offer information about the funeral or memorial service.
  6. Add Personal Touches: Share anecdotes, hobbies, and interests.
  7. Review and Edit: Ensure accuracy and clarity.
  8. Submit for Publication: Send the obituary to newspapers or online platforms.

Gather Information

Collect details about the deceased’s life, family, and funeral plans. Start by talking to close family members and friends to get a comprehensive picture of the deceased’s life.

Gather important documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses, and awards.

These can provide accurate dates and names.

Ensure you understand the funeral or memorial service details, including the date, time, and location. Having all this information will help you create a complete and accurate obituary that honors the deceased’s life.

Start with the Basics

Name, age, date of birth, and date of death. Begin the obituary with the most basic and essential information.

Clearly state the full name of the deceased, including any nicknames or maiden names they were known by.

Mention their age at the time of death.

Include the exact date of birth and date of death to give readers a precise timeline.

This section provides a factual basis for the rest of the obituary, helping readers immediately understand whom the obituary is about.

Write a Short Biography

Summarize their life story, including major milestones and achievements.

This section is the heart of the obituary.

Highlight key aspects of the deceased’s life, such as their education, career, marriages, and significant accomplishments.

Mention any military service, community involvement, or hobbies that were important to them.

Try to capture the essence of their character and the impact they had on others.

Keep it chronological to provide a clear narrative flow, but don’t hesitate to include anecdotes or quotes that reveal their personality.

List Family Members

Include surviving and predeceased relatives. List immediate family members, starting with the closest relatives, such as spouses, children, and parents.

Then, mention siblings, grandparents, and any other significant relatives.

It’s also important to acknowledge family members who have passed away before the deceased.

This can provide context and a sense of continuity for readers.

Ensure you spell names correctly and include any relevant details, such as relationships or locations.

Provide Funeral Details

Offer information about the funeral or memorial service.

Clearly state the date, time, and location of any planned services. Include information about any viewing or visitation hours if applicable.

Mention if the service is private or open to the public.

If there are any specific requests, such as dress codes or themes, include them here.

Providing these details helps friends and family plan to attend and show their respects.

Add Personal Touches

Share anecdotes, hobbies, and interests.

Personalizing the obituary makes it more meaningful. Include stories or quotes that reflect the deceased’s personality and life.

Mention their hobbies, interests, and passions. If they had a favorite saying or life philosophy, share it.

These details help paint a fuller picture of the person and can bring comfort to those reading the obituary by reminding them of the deceased’s unique traits and memorable moments.

Review and Edit

Ensure accuracy and clarity. Carefully review the obituary for any errors or omissions.

Check names, dates, and other factual details for accuracy.

Ensure the obituary flows well and is easy to read. Consider having another family member or friend review it as well.

An accurate, well-written obituary honors the deceased and provides clear information to readers.

Editing also helps avoid any misunderstandings or misrepresentations.

Submit for Publication

Send the obituary to newspapers or online platforms.

Decide where you want to publish the obituary. Many people choose local newspapers, but you can also consider online obituary websites or social media.

Each publication may have specific guidelines and deadlines, so make sure to follow them closely.

Include a photo if possible, as it adds a personal touch.

Submitting the obituary promptly ensures that it reaches the intended audience in time for them to participate in memorial services or offer condolences.

Check out this video about how to write an obituary:

40 Obituary Examples

There’s no better way to learn how to write an obituary than to read examples.

Therefore, in this section, I have collected 40 example obituaries. You’ll find traditional obituaries, short obituaries, modern obituaries, and more.

Example 1: Traditional Obituary

John Smith, 85, passed away peacefully on May 12, 2024, surrounded by his loving family. Born on January 15, 1939, in Springfield, Illinois, John was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather.

John married his high school sweetheart, Mary, in 1960. They shared 64 wonderful years together, raising three children. John worked as an engineer for 40 years at Acme Corporation, where he was known for his dedication and expertise. John is survived by his wife, Mary; his children, Susan (Mark), David (Linda), and Michael (Sarah); and seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Helen, and his sister, Patricia.

A funeral service will be held at Springfield United Methodist Church on May 20, 2024, at 10 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association.

John will be remembered for his kindness, wisdom, and unwavering love for his family. He enjoyed fishing, gardening, and volunteering at his local food bank. His legacy of love and generosity will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 2: Modern Obituary

Emily Johnson, 52, of Austin, Texas, passed away unexpectedly on May 10, 2024. Born on February 24, 1972, in Dallas, Emily was a vibrant and compassionate woman.

Emily earned her degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas. She had a successful career as a software developer, working for several tech companies in Austin. Emily was passionate about coding, mentoring young developers, and advocating for women in tech.

She is survived by her partner, Alex; her children, Noah and Emma; her parents, Charles and Linda; and her sister, Laura. Emily was predeceased by her brother, James.

A celebration of Emily’s life will be held at the Austin Botanical Gardens on June 1, 2024, at 3 PM. Attendees are encouraged to wear bright colors and bring stories to share. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Girls Who Code.

Emily will be remembered for her vibrant spirit, her dedication to her family and career, and her love for life. She enjoyed hiking, painting, and spending time with her children. Her positive energy and passion for helping others will be deeply missed.

Example 3: Obituary for a Young Person

Jacob Williams, 19, passed away on May 8, 2024, in San Diego, California. Born on September 12, 2004, Jacob was a bright and adventurous young man.

Jacob graduated from San Diego High School in 2022 and was attending the University of California, San Diego, studying Marine Biology. He had a passion for the ocean and dreamed of becoming a marine biologist.

He is survived by his parents, Mark and Jennifer; his siblings, Olivia and Ethan; and his grandparents, Richard and Barbara. Jacob was predeceased by his grandmother, Margaret. A memorial service will be held at La Jolla Shores on May 18, 2024, at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ocean Conservancy in Jacob’s memory.

Jacob will be remembered for his adventurous spirit, his love for the ocean, and his kindness. He enjoyed surfing, scuba diving, and volunteering at the local aquarium. Jacob’s bright smile and positive attitude touched everyone he met. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Example 4: Obituary for a Veteran

Michael Thompson, 78, of Phoenix, Arizona, passed away on May 15, 2024. Born on March 3, 1946, in Denver, Colorado, Michael was a decorated Vietnam War veteran.

Michael joined the United States Army in 1965 and served with honor and distinction. He received several commendations, including the Purple Heart. After his military service, Michael worked as a firefighter, dedicating his life to serving others.

He is survived by his wife, Carol; his children, Lisa (John) and Brian (Megan); and four grandchildren. Michael was predeceased by his parents, George and Dorothy, and his brother, Robert.

A military funeral with honors will be held at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery on May 25, 2024, at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Michael will be remembered for his bravery, his dedication to his family and country, and his sense of humor. He enjoyed woodworking, fishing, and spending time with his grandchildren. His legacy of service and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 5: Obituary for a Community Leader

Susan Brown, 64, of Atlanta, Georgia, passed away on May 7, 2024. Born on November 22, 1959, in Savannah, Georgia, Susan was a beloved community leader and philanthropist.

Susan earned her degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University. She was the CEO of Brown Enterprises, a family-owned business, and was known for her leadership and commitment to her community.

She is survived by her husband, James; her children, Anna (Paul) and Thomas (Kara); and three grandchildren. Susan was predeceased by her parents, William and Margaret.

A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church of Atlanta on May 21, 2024, at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Susan will be remembered for her generosity, her dedication to her family and community, and her leadership. She enjoyed traveling, reading, and volunteering at local charities. Her legacy of service and kindness will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 6: Obituary for a Teacher

Mary Davis, 70, of Nashville, Tennessee, passed away on May 14, 2024. Born on June 10, 1953, in Memphis, Tennessee, Mary was a beloved teacher and mentor.

Mary earned her degree in Education from Vanderbilt University. She taught elementary school for over 40 years, touching the lives of countless students with her kindness and dedication. She is survived by her husband, John; her children, Emily (Ryan) and Christopher (Sarah); and five grandchildren. Mary was predeceased by her parents, Thomas and Evelyn.

A celebration of Mary’s life will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Nashville on May 28, 2024, at 10 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Nashville Public Schools Foundation.

Mary will be remembered for her passion for teaching, her love for her family, and her unwavering faith. She enjoyed gardening, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren. Her legacy of education and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 7: Obituary for an Artist

Linda Martin, 58, of Seattle, Washington, passed away on May 9, 2024. Born on July 4, 1965, in Portland, Oregon, Linda was a talented artist and creative spirit.

Linda earned her degree in Fine Arts from the University of Washington. She was known for her vibrant paintings and sculptures, which were exhibited in galleries across the country. She is survived by her partner, Rachel; her daughter, Sophie; her parents, Robert and Nancy; and her brother, David. Linda was predeceased by her sister, Karen.

A memorial service will be held at the Seattle Art Museum on May 27, 2024, at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Endowment for the Arts.

Linda will be remembered for her creativity, her passion for art, and her love for her family. She enjoyed painting, hiking, and spending time in nature. Linda’s artistic legacy and vibrant spirit will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 8: Obituary for a Child

Aiden Carter, 7, of Boston, Massachusetts, passed away on May 5, 2024. Born on March 8, 2017, Aiden was a bright and joyful child who touched the lives of everyone he met.

Aiden is survived by his parents, Matthew and Sarah; his sister, Lily; his grandparents, Michael and Jane; and his aunt, Jessica. He was predeceased by his grandfather, Richard.

A memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s Church on May 12, 2024, at 1 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Boston Children’s Hospital.

Aiden will be remembered for his infectious smile, his love for animals, and his adventurous spirit. He enjoyed playing soccer, building with Legos, and exploring the outdoors. Aiden’s bright light and joyful presence will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Example 9: Obituary for a Business Owner

William Harris, 62, of Chicago, Illinois, passed away on May 6, 2024. Born on August 15, 1961, in Detroit, Michigan, William was a successful business owner and entrepreneur.

William earned his degree in Business Management from the University of Michigan. He founded Harris & Co., a successful marketing firm, and was known for his innovative ideas and leadership. He is survived by his wife, Laura; his children, James (Kelly) and Rebecca (Daniel); and three grandchildren. William was predeceased by his parents, Charles and Dorothy.

A memorial service will be held at Grace Lutheran Church on May 19, 2024, at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Chicago Business Association.

William will be remembered for his entrepreneurial spirit, his dedication to his family, and his generosity. He enjoyed golfing, traveling, and mentoring young professionals. William’s legacy of innovation and kindness will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 10: Obituary for a Scientist

Dr. Elizabeth Green, 73, of San Francisco, California, passed away on May 11, 2024. Born on December 1, 1950, in Los Angeles, California, Elizabeth was a renowned scientist and researcher.

Elizabeth earned her PhD in Biology from Stanford University. She made significant contributions to cancer research and was known for her dedication and brilliance in the field. She is survived by her husband, Richard; her children, Sarah (Michael) and Andrew (Emily); and four grandchildren. Elizabeth was predeceased by her parents, John and Margaret.

A celebration of Elizabeth’s life will be held at the California Academy of Sciences on May 22, 2024, at 4 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.

Elizabeth will be remembered for her intelligence, her passion for science, and her love for her family. She enjoyed reading, hiking, and spending time with her grandchildren. Elizabeth’s legacy of scientific discovery and compassion will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 11: Obituary for a Musician

David Clark, 45, of New Orleans, Louisiana, passed away on May 10, 2024. Born on April 20, 1979, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, David was a talented musician and performer.

David earned his degree in Music from Louisiana State University. He was known for his soulful voice and captivating performances, playing in various bands throughout his career. He is survived by his partner, Julia; his parents, Thomas and Linda; his sister, Melissa; and his nephews, Ethan and Jacob. David was predeceased by his brother, Robert.

A celebration of David’s life will be held at Preservation Hall on May 24, 2024, at 8 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic.

David will be remembered for his musical talent, his love for his family, and his generous spirit. He enjoyed playing the guitar, writing songs, and spending time with his friends. David’s musical legacy and vibrant personality will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 12: Obituary for a Religious Leader

Reverend James White, 82, of Charleston, South Carolina, passed away on May 13, 2024. Born on October 5, 1941, in Greenville, South Carolina, James was a beloved pastor and community leader.

James earned his degree in Theology from Duke University. He served as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Charleston for over 40 years, touching the lives of countless individuals with his sermons and compassionate guidance. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; his children, Stephen (Laura) and Elizabeth (David); and five grandchildren. James was predeceased by his parents, William and Mary.

A funeral service will be held at First Baptist Church of Charleston on May 29, 2024, at 10 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the church’s mission fund.

James will be remembered for his unwavering faith, his love for his family, and his dedication to his congregation. He enjoyed reading, gardening, and spending time with his grandchildren. James’s legacy of faith and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 13: Obituary for an Athlete

Daniel Lee, 30, of Denver, Colorado, passed away on May 14, 2024. Born on July 12, 1993, in Boulder, Colorado, Daniel was a talented athlete and dedicated coach.

Daniel earned his degree in Sports Science from the University of Colorado. He excelled in track and field, setting several records and later coaching young athletes in his community. He is survived by his parents, Michael and Sarah; his sister, Jessica; and his fiancée, Megan. Daniel was predeceased by his grandparents, John and Patricia.

A memorial service will be held at Denver Sports Complex on May 31, 2024, at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Colorado Youth Sports Foundation.

Daniel will be remembered for his athletic talent, his love for his family and fiancée, and his dedication to coaching. He enjoyed running, hiking, and mentoring young athletes. Daniel’s legacy of athleticism and mentorship will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 14: Obituary for a Chef

Chef Laura Martinez, 56, of New York City, passed away on May 9, 2024. Born on September 30, 1967, in Mexico City, Mexico, Laura was a renowned chef and culinary innovator.

Laura earned her culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu. She was the head chef at several top restaurants in New York, known for her creative and delicious dishes.

She is survived by her husband, Carlos; her children, Sofia (David) and Marco; and her grandchildren, Elena and Diego. Laura was predeceased by her parents, Jorge and Maria.

A celebration of Laura’s life will be held at her restaurant, El Sol, on May 26, 2024, at 7 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the James Beard Foundation. Laura will be remembered for her culinary talent, her love for her family, and her passion for food. She enjoyed cooking, traveling, and sharing meals with loved ones. Laura’s culinary legacy and warm spirit will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 15: Obituary for a Pilot

Captain Robert Wilson, 68, of Miami, Florida, passed away on May 8, 2024. Born on November 11, 1955, in Tampa, Florida, Robert was a respected airline pilot. Robert earned his pilot’s license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He flew for American Airlines for over 30 years, known for his skill and professionalism.

He is survived by his wife, Linda; his children, Karen (James) and Michael (Anna); and three grandchildren. Robert was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Betty.

A memorial service will be held at Miami International Airport’s Chapel on May 22, 2024, at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Airline Pilots Association Scholarship Fund.

Robert will be remembered for his dedication to aviation, his love for his family, and his adventurous spirit. He enjoyed flying, traveling, and spending time with his grandchildren. Robert’s legacy of flight and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 16: Obituary for a Volunteer

Margaret Anderson, 75, of San Antonio, Texas, passed away on May 11, 2024. Born on February 14, 1949, in Houston, Texas, Margaret was a dedicated volunteer and community advocate. Margaret earned her degree in Social Work from the University of Texas. She volunteered at numerous local charities, dedicating her life to helping others.

She is survived by her husband, John; her children, David (Laura) and Susan (Paul); and four grandchildren. Margaret was predeceased by her parents, Edward and Ruth.

A celebration of Margaret’s life will be held at the San Antonio Community Center on May 30, 2024, at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the San Antonio Food Bank.

Margaret will be remembered for her generosity, her dedication to her family, and her tireless volunteer work. She enjoyed gardening, reading, and spending time with her

grandchildren. Margaret’s legacy of kindness and community service will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 17: Obituary for a Journalist

Jennifer Adams, 48, of Washington, D.C., passed away on May 7, 2024. Born on April 2, 1976, in Baltimore, Maryland, Jennifer was a respected journalist and author. Jennifer earned her degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She worked for major publications, including The Washington Post, where she was known for her investigative reporting and compelling writing.

She is survived by her husband, Robert; her children, Emma and Jack; her parents, Thomas and Carol; and her brother, Matthew. Jennifer was predeceased by her sister, Katherine.

A memorial service will be held at the National Press Club on June 1, 2024, at 1 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Jennifer will be remembered for her dedication to truth, her love for her family, and her impactful storytelling. She enjoyed reading, traveling, and mentoring young journalists. Jennifer’s legacy of journalistic integrity and compassion will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 18: Obituary for a Librarian

Sarah Taylor, 63, of Portland, Oregon, passed away on May 15, 2024. Born on August 25, 1960, in Salem, Oregon, Sarah was a beloved librarian and community member.

Sarah earned her degree in Library Science from the University of Oregon. She worked at the Portland Public Library for over 30 years, where she was known for her dedication to literacy and community programs. She is survived by her husband, Michael; her children, Rachel (Daniel) and Joshua (Emily); and three grandchildren. Sarah was predeceased by her parents, James and Alice.

A celebration of Sarah’s life will be held at the Portland Public Library on June 3, 2024, at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Friends of the Library.

Sarah will be remembered for her love of books, her dedication to her family, and her commitment to her community. She enjoyed reading, hiking, and organizing book clubs. Sarah’s legacy of literacy and community engagement will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 19: Obituary for a Humanitarian

David Roberts, 67, of Los Angeles, California, passed away on May 9, 2024. Born on March 15, 1957, in San Francisco, California, David was a passionate humanitarian and activist. David earned his degree in International Relations from UCLA. He dedicated his life to humanitarian work, founding several non-profits and advocating for human rights around the world.

He is survived by his wife, Linda; his children, Mark (Julia) and Lisa (Ryan); and four grandchildren. David was predeceased by his parents, Henry and Margaret.

A memorial service will be held at the Los Angeles Human Rights Center on May 29, 2024, at 4 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Amnesty International.

David will be remembered for his compassion, his dedication to human rights, and his love for his family. He enjoyed traveling, writing, and volunteering. David’s legacy of advocacy and kindness will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 20: Obituary for a Historian

Dr. John Collins, 75, of Boston, Massachusetts, passed away on May 10, 2024. Born on October 10, 1948, in Worcester, Massachusetts, John was a renowned historian and professor.

John earned his PhD in History from Harvard University. He taught at Boston University for over 40 years, contributing significantly to the field of American History. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; his children, Daniel (Sophia) and Amanda (James); and three grandchildren. John was predeceased by his parents, Robert and Helen.

A celebration of John’s life will be held at Boston University on June 7, 2024, at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Historical Association.

John will be remembered for his intellectual curiosity, his dedication to teaching, and his love for his family. He enjoyed reading, traveling, and researching history. John’s legacy of scholarship and education will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 21: Obituary for a Mechanic

Thomas Johnson, 55, of Detroit, Michigan, passed away on May 12, 2024. Born on July 19, 1968, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thomas was a skilled mechanic and devoted family man.

Thomas earned his certification from the Michigan Automotive School. He worked at Johnson’s Auto Repair, a family-owned business, for over 30 years, known for his expertise and honesty. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; his children, Kevin (Laura) and Ashley (Paul); and two grandchildren. Thomas was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Rose.

A memorial service will be held at St. Andrew’s Church on May 27, 2024, at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.

Thomas will be remembered for his mechanical skills, his love for his family, and his integrity. He enjoyed working on cars, fishing, and spending time with his grandchildren. Thomas’s legacy of hard work and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 22: Obituary for a Politician

Senator Robert Clark, 77, of Richmond, Virginia, passed away on May 14, 2024. Born on June 15, 1946, in Charlottesville, Virginia, Robert was a dedicated public servant and statesman.

Robert earned his degree in Political Science from the University of Virginia. He served as a state senator for over 20 years, known for his commitment to his constituents and his leadership. He is survived by his wife, Carol; his children, Jennifer (William) and Christopher (Anna); and five grandchildren. Robert was predeceased by his parents, John and Mary.

A funeral service will be held at the Virginia State Capitol on June 1, 2024, at 10 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Red Cross.

Robert will be remembered for his dedication to public service, his love for his family, and his integrity. He enjoyed reading, traveling, and engaging in community activities. Robert’s legacy of leadership and service will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 23: Obituary for a Lawyer

Elizabeth Scott, 60, of Houston, Texas, passed away on May 8, 2024. Born on March 5, 1964, in Dallas, Texas, Elizabeth was a respected lawyer and advocate. Elizabeth earned her degree in Law from the University of Texas. She practiced family law for over 35 years, known for her dedication and compassion for her clients.

She is survived by her husband, David; her children, Rachel (John) and Brian (Emily); and three grandchildren. Elizabeth was predeceased by her parents, Thomas and Laura.

A memorial service will be held at St. Mark’s Church on May 25, 2024, at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Texas Bar Foundation.

Elizabeth will be remembered for her legal expertise, her love for her family, and her kindness. She enjoyed traveling, reading, and volunteering. Elizabeth’s legacy of advocacy and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 24: Obituary for an Environmentalist

Dr. Karen Wilson, 65, of Portland, Oregon, passed away on May 13, 2024. Born on August 12, 1958, in Eugene, Oregon, Karen was a dedicated environmentalist and scientist.

Karen earned her PhD in Environmental Science from Oregon State University. She devoted her career to conservation efforts and environmental advocacy. She is survived by her husband, Richard; her children, Megan (Luke) and Ryan (Jessica); and two grandchildren. Karen was predeceased by her parents, George and Mary.

A celebration of Karen’s life will be held at the Oregon Environmental Council on May 31, 2024, at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sierra Club.

Karen will be remembered for her dedication to the environment, her love for her family, and her passion for nature. She enjoyed hiking, birdwatching, and volunteering. Karen’s legacy of environmental stewardship and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 25: Obituary for a Farmer

James Anderson, 72, of Des Moines, Iowa, passed away on May 10, 2024. Born on January 20, 1952, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, James was a dedicated farmer and family man. James earned his degree in Agriculture from Iowa State University. He operated Anderson Farms, a family-owned farm, for over 50 years, known for his hard work and dedication.

He is survived by his wife, Susan; his children, Michael (Hannah) and Emily (Andrew); and four grandchildren. James was predeceased by his parents, Robert and Helen.

A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church on May 24, 2024, at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Future Farmers of America (FFA).

James will be remembered for his farming expertise, his love for his family, and his dedication to his community. He enjoyed farming, fishing, and spending time with his grandchildren. James’s legacy of hard work and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 26: Obituary for a Philanthropist

Margaret Lewis, 80, of San Francisco, California, passed away on May 7, 2024. Born on October 30, 1943, in San Jose, California, Margaret was a dedicated philanthropist and community leader.

Margaret earned her degree in Business Administration from Stanford University. She devoted her life to philanthropic efforts, founding several charities and supporting numerous causes. She is survived by her husband, John; her children, Laura (David) and James (Emily); and six grandchildren. Margaret was predeceased by her parents, William and Anne.

A celebration of Margaret’s life will be held at the San Francisco Community Center on June 2, 2024, at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the United Way.

Margaret will be remembered for her generosity, her dedication to her family, and her philanthropic spirit. She enjoyed traveling, reading, and volunteering. Margaret’s legacy of generosity and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 27: Obituary for a Dentist

Dr. Steven Parker, 58, of Miami, Florida, passed away on May 12, 2024. Born on February 27, 1966, in Orlando, Florida, Steven was a respected dentist and community member. Steven earned his degree in Dentistry from the University of Florida. He operated Parker Dental Clinic for over 25 years, known for his expertise and compassionate care.

He is survived by his wife, Lisa; his children, Sarah (John) and Matthew (Anna); and three grandchildren. Steven was predeceased by his parents, Charles and Barbara.

A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church on May 28, 2024, at 10 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Dental Association Foundation.

Steven will be remembered for his dental expertise, his love for his family, and his kindness. He enjoyed golfing, traveling, and volunteering at dental clinics. Steven’s legacy of care and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 28: Obituary for a Police Officer

Officer Michael Smith, 48, of New York City, passed away on May 8, 2024. Born on July 14, 1975, in Brooklyn, New York, Michael was a dedicated police officer and community protector.

Michael earned his degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College. He served with the NYPD for over 20 years, known for his bravery and dedication to public safety. He is survived by his wife, Karen; his children, Jessica and Kevin; his parents, Robert and Linda; and his brother, David. Michael was predeceased by his grandparents, James and Margaret.

A memorial service with full honors will be held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on May 30, 2024, at 12 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Michael will be remembered for his bravery, his love for his family, and his dedication to protecting his community. He enjoyed running, coaching his children’s sports teams, and spending time with his family. Michael’s legacy of service and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 29: Obituary for a Pilot

Captain Jennifer White, 49, of Seattle, Washington, passed away on May 10, 2024. Born on April 6, 1975, in Spokane, Washington, Jennifer was a respected commercial airline pilot. Jennifer earned her degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She flew for Alaska Airlines for over 25 years, known for her skill and professionalism.

She is survived by her husband, Mark; her children, Rachel and Daniel; her parents, William and Susan; and her sister, Katherine. Jennifer was predeceased by her brother, Thomas.

A memorial service will be held at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s Chapel on May 25, 2024, at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Women in Aviation International Scholarship Fund.

Jennifer will be remembered for her dedication to aviation, her love for her family, and her adventurous spirit. She enjoyed flying, hiking, and spending time with her children. Jennifer’s legacy of flight and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 30: Obituary for a Realtor

Rebecca Harris, 62, of Dallas, Texas, passed away on May 9, 2024. Born on December 15, 1961, in Austin, Texas, Rebecca was a successful realtor and community member.

Rebecca earned her degree in Business from Texas A&M University. She worked as a realtor for over 35 years, known for her integrity and commitment to her clients. She is survived by her husband, John; her children, Amanda (Paul) and David (Laura); and four grandchildren. Rebecca was predeceased by her parents, James and Patricia.

A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church on May 26, 2024, at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Habitat for Humanity.

Rebecca will be remembered for her real estate expertise, her love for her family, and her community involvement. She enjoyed gardening, traveling, and volunteering. Rebecca’s legacy of dedication and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 31: Obituary for a Chef

Chef Maria Gonzalez, 47, of San Francisco, California, passed away on May 11, 2024. Born on March 3, 1977, in Guadalajara, Mexico, Maria was a renowned chef and culinary artist. Maria earned her culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu. She was the head chef at several acclaimed restaurants in San Francisco, known for her innovative and delicious dishes.

She is survived by her partner, Laura; her children, Sophia and Marco; her parents, Jorge and Ana; and her sister, Isabel. Maria was predeceased by her brother, Carlos.

A celebration of Maria’s life will be held at her restaurant, La Cocina, on June 2, 2024, at 7 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the James Beard Foundation.

Maria will be remembered for her culinary talent, her love for her family, and her passion for food. She enjoyed cooking, traveling, and sharing meals with loved ones. Maria’s culinary legacy and vibrant spirit will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 32: Obituary for an Architect

David Harris, 65, of New York City, passed away on May 14, 2024. Born on September 20, 1958, in Newark, New Jersey, David was a talented architect and visionary.

David earned his degree in Architecture from Princeton University. He designed numerous iconic buildings, leaving a lasting impact on the skyline of New York City. He is survived by his wife, Laura; his children, Michael (Emily) and Sarah (Daniel); and three grandchildren. David was predeceased by his parents, Robert and Helen.

A memorial service will be held at the New York City Center for Architecture on May 28, 2024, at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Institute of Architects Foundation.

David will be remembered for his architectural genius, his love for his family, and his dedication to his craft. He enjoyed traveling, sketching, and spending time with his grandchildren. David’s legacy of creativity and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 33: Obituary for a Teacher

Linda Davis, 72, of Atlanta, Georgia, passed away on May 7, 2024. Born on April 10, 1952, in Savannah, Georgia, Linda was a beloved teacher and mentor. Linda earned her degree in Education from Georgia State University. She taught elementary school for over 40 years, touching the lives of countless students with her kindness and dedication.

She is survived by her husband, James; her children, Anna (Paul) and Thomas (Kara); and three grandchildren. Linda was predeceased by her parents, William and Margaret.

A celebration of Linda’s life will be held at First Baptist Church of Atlanta on May 20, 2024, at 10 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Atlanta Public Schools Foundation.

Linda will be remembered for her passion for teaching, her love for her family, and her unwavering faith. She enjoyed gardening, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren. Linda’s legacy of education and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 34: Obituary for a Scientist

Dr. Richard Brown, 68, of San Diego, California, passed away on May 12, 2024. Born on October 4, 1955, in Los Angeles, California, Richard was a renowned scientist and researcher.

Richard earned his PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He made significant contributions to the field of renewable energy, known for his innovative research and dedication. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; his children, Laura (Steven) and Eric (Megan); and three grandchildren. Richard was predeceased by his parents, John and Helen.

A celebration of Richard’s life will be held at the San Diego Natural History Museum on May 30, 2024, at 4 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Chemical Society.

Richard will be remembered for his scientific brilliance, his love for his family, and his passion for discovery. He enjoyed hiking, reading, and mentoring young scientists. Richard’s legacy of scientific advancement and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 35: Obituary for a Pastor

Reverend Samuel Green, 74, of Nashville, Tennessee, passed away on May 9, 2024. Born on June 6, 1949, in Memphis, Tennessee, Samuel was a beloved pastor and community leader. Samuel earned his degree in Theology from Vanderbilt University. He served as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Nashville for over 40 years, known for his compassionate guidance and inspiring sermons.

He is survived by his wife, Martha; his children, David (Laura) and Emily (Ryan); and four grandchildren. Samuel was predeceased by his parents, Thomas and Evelyn.

A funeral service will be held at First Baptist Church of Nashville on May 21, 2024, at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the church’s mission fund.

Samuel will be remembered for his unwavering faith, his love for his family, and his dedication to his congregation. He enjoyed reading, gardening, and spending time with his grandchildren. Samuel’s legacy of faith and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 36: Obituary for a Judge

Judge Henry Thompson, 80, of Washington, D.C., passed away on May 8, 2024. Born on February 15, 1944, in Baltimore, Maryland, Henry was a respected judge and legal scholar.

Henry earned his degree in Law from Georgetown University. He served as a federal judge for over 30 years, known for his fairness and legal acumen. He is survived by his wife, Susan; his children, Katherine (James) and Robert (Emily); and three grandchildren. Henry was predeceased by his parents, William and Mary.

A memorial service will be held at the Federal Courthouse on May 27, 2024, at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Bar Association Foundation.

Henry will be remembered for his legal expertise, his love for his family, and his dedication to justice. He enjoyed reading, traveling, and mentoring young lawyers. Henry’s legacy of legal scholarship and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 37: Obituary for an Engineer

Engineer Michael Scott, 55, of Houston, Texas, passed away on May 10, 2024. Born on September 12, 1968, in Dallas, Texas, Michael was a talented engineer and innovator. Michael earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He worked at NASA for over 30 years, contributing to numerous space missions and advancements in aerospace technology.

He is survived by his wife, Karen; his children, Emily (John) and Matthew (Anna); and three grandchildren. Michael was predeceased by his parents, Charles and Barbara.

A memorial service will be held at the Johnson Space Center on May 22, 2024, at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Space Foundation.

Michael will be remembered for his engineering brilliance, his love for his family, and his passion for space exploration. He enjoyed stargazing, hiking, and mentoring young engineers. Michael’s legacy of innovation and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Example 38: Obituary for a Nurse

Nurse Emily White, 50, of Chicago, Illinois, passed away on May 13, 2024. Born on June 15, 1973, in Peoria, Illinois, Emily was a dedicated nurse and caregiver.

Emily earned her degree in Nursing from the University of Illinois. She worked at Chicago General Hospital for over 25 years, known for her compassionate care and dedication to her patients. She is survived by her husband, Robert; her children, Jessica and Kevin; her parents, William and Susan; and her brother, David. Emily was predeceased by her grandparents, James and Margaret.

A memorial service will be held at Chicago General Hospital Chapel on May 29, 2024, at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Nurses Association Foundation.

Emily will be remembered for her nursing skills, her love for her family, and her compassionate spirit. She enjoyed running, volunteering, and spending time with her family. Emily’s legacy of care and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 39: Obituary for a Social Worker

Social Worker Laura Green, 62, of Los Angeles, California, passed away on May 12, 2024. Born on April 20, 1962, in San Francisco, California, Laura was a dedicated social worker and advocate.

Laura earned her degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. She worked at various non-profits, advocating for children and families in need. She is survived by her husband, David; her children, Sarah (Michael) and Matthew (Anna); and two grandchildren. Laura was predeceased by her parents, John and Helen.

A celebration of Laura’s life will be held at the Los Angeles Children’s Center on June 1, 2024, at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Association of Social Workers Foundation.

Laura will be remembered for her dedication to social work, her love for her family, and her compassionate spirit. She enjoyed reading, hiking, and volunteering. Laura’s legacy of advocacy and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew her.

Example 40: Obituary for a Firefighter

Firefighter Jason Black, 45, of Phoenix, Arizona, passed away on May 11, 2024. Born on February 7, 1979, in Tucson, Arizona, Jason was a dedicated firefighter and community protector.

Jason earned his degree in Fire Science from Arizona State University. He served with the Phoenix Fire Department for over 20 years, known for his bravery and dedication to public safety.

He is survived by his wife, Melissa; his children, Ethan and Emma; his parents, Robert and Linda; and his brother, Michael. Jason was predeceased by his grandparents, James and Margaret.

A memorial service with full honors will be held at St. Mary’s Church on May 28, 2024, at 12 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

Jason will be remembered for his bravery, his love for his family, and his dedication to protecting his community. He enjoyed hiking, coaching his children’s sports teams, and spending time with his family. Jason’s legacy of service and love will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

Simple Obituary Template

Creating an obituary can be daunting, but a simple template can make the process easier.

Below is a straightforward, fill-in-the-blanks template that anyone can use to craft a meaningful obituary. Just insert the relevant details to personalize it.

Obituary Template

[Full Name], [Age], passed away on [Date of Death] in [Place of Death]. [First Name] was born on [Date of Birth] in [Place of Birth].

[First Name] is survived by [List of Surviving Family Members]. He/She was preceded in death by [List of Predeceased Family Members].

[First Name] attended [School or University] and earned a degree in [Field of Study]. He/She worked as a [Occupation] at [Place of Work] for [Number of Years].

[First Name] was known for [Personal Traits or Achievements]. He/She enjoyed [Hobbies or Interests].

A [Type of Service] will be held on [Date of Service] at [Time of Service] at [Location of Service]. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to [Charity or Organization] in [First Name]’s memory.

[First Name] will be remembered for [Final Personal Tribute or Anecdote].

Final Thoughts: How to Write an Obituary

Writing an obituary is a meaningful way to honor and remember a loved one.

By following this guide and using the provided template, you can create a tribute that captures the essence of their life and legacy.

Remember to focus on the positive aspects and celebrate their achievements and impact on others.

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How to Write an Obituary (Ultimate Guide + 40 Examples) - Writing Beginner (2024)

FAQs

What is a good short obituary example? ›

“[Full name], age [age], a beloved figure of [where they lived], sadly left our world on [date of death], after a life richly lived in service and kindness. Known for [mention of significant contributions], [first name] was a beacon of light and hope in our community, touching lives through [specific actions or roles].

Is there a template for an obituary? ›

There is no one-size-fits-all obituary format, and there are a few different types of obituary templates. Some of the many examples you might find online are: Newspaper obituary template. Fill-in-the-blank obituary template.

What is the opening line of an obituary? ›

Suggested wording: “It is with great sadness that the family of (deceased name) announce (his/her) passing….”

What not to put in an obituary? ›

When writing an obituary, leave out details that could be used for identity theft, such as the deceased's date and place of birth, middle name, maiden name and mother's maiden name. And don't include the deceased's home address.

What is a good sentence for obituary? ›

[Full Name], aged [age of the deceased], passed away peacefully on [date of death], at [location of death]. He/she was born on [date of birth], in [birthplace], to [names of parents].

What is the basic obituary format? ›

Announce the death and include their full name, age, hometown, and date of death. Include a brief summary of their life. Mention family members who have already passed away, as well as surviving family members. Share funeral or memorial service details, including whether they are public or private events.

What is the order of survivors in an obituary? ›

The Surviving Family

The order should go as followed: spouse, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, parents, and siblings. It should be noted that nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws are typically unmentioned unless they were especially close to the deceased.

How do you write a simple death notice? ›

How to Write a Death Announcement
  1. Full name of the deceased.
  2. State that they have died.
  3. Date and location of death.
  4. Funeral and/or memorial date, time, and location.
  5. Optional information, such as for donations.

What is the last sentence of an obituary? ›

Concluding Message

Some families make the final line a dedication honoring their loved one. Phrases like “We will always carry your memory in our hearts,” or perhaps a favorite quote of your loved one are heartfelt and personal.

What is the last paragraph of an obituary? ›

The final paragraph includes the service arrangements. The name of the individual, including any nickname he or she was known by, and location and date of death so there is no confusion as to who has died. Who the person really was, and what he or she may have accomplished.

What is the correct order of an obituary? ›

Obituary Guidelines
  • Deceased's full name, including well-known nickname, (if any) followed by a comma and age at death. (You do not need to say “age”.) ...
  • Residence (name of the city) at death. ...
  • Day and date of death.
  • Place of death (if appropriate). ...
  • Cause of death (if appropriate).

What is the best wording for a death notice? ›

Examples of Death Announcement Wording

With great sadness, we announce the loss of our beloved father, (insert name). In loving memory of (insert name), we are saddened to announce their passing on (insert date). A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered.

How do I list family members in an obituary? ›

When you list the survivors, make sure that you list them in order of closest relation to the deceased: spouse, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, parents, and siblings. When you are listing a relative, make sure to include their first name, their spouse's first name in brackets and then their last name.

How soon after death do you write an obituary? ›

Publishing an obituary is a time-sensitive process–you should try to have it written and posted within a week of the deceased's passing. This goes for obituaries published both online and in print.

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