The following is a little advice on obituary writing. Writing an obituary can be an ordeal. If time exists before the death, try and get it written. So sorry but families have gotten very angry at other family members for misspelling or absent family members. If you feel slighted about an obituary, please call the family and kindly talk to them. Remember, they have just been through the death of a very dear loved one and deserve your grace.
There are six parts of an obituary: the announcement, biographical information, survivor and proceeded in death information, scheduled ceremonies, contributions and funeral home information.
Begin with the announcement. It should include who the person is, the date they died, and where they lived. The cause of death is optional. Be short and concise. All this can be typically included in one sentence.
Write a short biographical piece about the person's life. This should include where and when the person was born, where they lived throughout their life, notable awards and times in their life, important hobbies, and possibly where they went to school.
Include who the person is survived by. Include, in this order, immediate family members (spouse and children or parents and siblings step-children) and secondary family members (aunts, uncles, grandchildren, close cousins).You can include spouse names such as Mary (John), John (Anna), ... Remember, this is the main research tool for the family tree so try to include everyone. Use baptism names for Relatives. Nicknames should be added in quotes, such as "Bud." Deceased relatives should be listed last with the phrase “Preceded in death by”. In laws can be included but most choose not to include them.
Note where and when important ceremonies will take place, such as memorial services, graveside burials, etc. Another term for memorial service is Celebration of Life.
Tell people where they can make donations in remembrance of the person who has died. This is a very common practice and should always be noted so as to avoid an influx of calls to the bereaved family. “In lieu of flowers” should precede the memorials if you would rather have money than flowers.
Include the name of the funeral home assisting, address and website for condolences or flowers.
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