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How to Write an Obituary

Writing an obituary can be a daunting task, as it is often done in the wake of a loved one’s death. Whether it is traditional funeral or hosting a memorial after an aquamation service in Shelby, NC, you most likely need to write an obituary for the deceased. It can be difficult to express the emotions in writing, but it is one way to honor your loved one’s memory. Here are some simple steps on how to write a good obituary.

1. Gather information about the deceased, including date of birth, date of death, occupation, and any other notable accomplishments or affiliations.

gathering info for obituary

In order to write a good obituary, it is important to gather information about the deceased. This includes the date of birth, date of death, occupation, and any other notable accomplishments or affiliations. This information will help to paint a picture of the deceased for readers and give them a better understanding of their life.


2. Write the opening paragraph, which should include the person’s full name, age (at time of death), and place of residence.

Once you’ve gathered the necessary information about the person who died, you can start writing down a draft of your obituary. You will also need to decide what type of tone you want to use in the obituary. Obituaries can be serious and somber, or they can be more lighthearted and reflective. Once you have this information, you can begin writing the obituary.

write basic info for obituary

Obituary Introduction Example:

John Doe was born on January 1, 1900, and passed away on December 31, 1999, at 1:00 pm. He died peacefully at the age of 99 at his home in Shelby. He was born in Shelby, NC, and grew up in Kings Mountain, NC.

3. Write a brief description of the person’s life and what made them unique or special.

When writing an obituary, describe how the deceased lived and what things made them special. It is also important to include both positive and negative aspects of the person’s life. While it is tempting to only focus on the good memories, acknowledging both the good and bad times helps to create a more complete picture of the person’s life. Additionally, try to avoid using clichés or overly sentimental language. Instead, focus on concrete details and specific examples that illustrate who the person was.

Don’t be afraid to show your emotions. Writing an obituary can be difficult, and it’s okay if you need to take a break or come back to it later. The most important thing is that you capture the essence of the person and their impact on those around them.

writing a brief description for obituary

Brief Description Obituary Example:

John Doe was a prominent figure in the business world. He was the president of ACME Corporation for over 20 years. He was also a board member of several other companies, including XYZ Corporation. In addition to his business accomplishments, John was also an active philanthropist. He supported numerous charitable causes and was recognized as one of the top donors in Shelby City. John Doe was a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

4. Indicate whether the person was predeceased by any other family members and mention those who are survived by them.

mention family members on obituaries

One of the most important elements is indicating whether the person was predeceased by any other family members. For example, if a husband was survived by his wife and two children, it would be essential to mention this in the obituary. Additionally, it is also important to mention who is survived by the deceased. In the same example, the obituary would mention that the husband is survived by his wife and two children. By including this information, readers will have a better understanding of the person’s family and how they are connected to the deceased.

5. List the funeral arrangements and where donations can be sent in lieu of flowers.

list funeral arrangements on obituaries

You need to list the funeral arrangements, including the date and time of the service and where it will be held. You will also need to include information on how to send donations in lieu of flowers.

6. Thank everyone for their support during this difficult time.

thank everyone for the supportObituaries are also a way of thanking everyone for their support during difficult times. Don’t forget to be thankful to all the people who supported you and your family during this grieving time. There are many resources and people who are here to help you through. It can be comforting to know that you are not alone and that people have your back.

Obituary Thank You Example:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support during this difficult time. We would especially like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at the hospital for their compassionate care.

7. Close with a memorable quote or saying that was often used by the deceased.

memorable quote for obituaries

Closing an obituary with a memorable quote or saying can make it more personal and memorable. This can help to capture the essence of the deceased’s personality and to provide comfort and closure for those who are grieving. Some examples of memorable quotes that could be used include: “Live each day as if it were your last,” “Don’t take life too seriously,” or ” Always stay positive.”

8. Proofread the Obituary that was written.

proofread the obituaryLastly, be sure to proofread the obituary carefully before publishing it. This will help to ensure that all of the facts are correct and that the memories shared are accurate. It is also important to check for grammar and spelling errors. It does not have to be perfect, but it must properly deliver the life story of the deceased. The obituary will affect how people remember the person you are writing about. With these tips in mind, writing an obituary can be a moving and cathartic experience.


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The Common Parts of an Obituary

To be better prepared to write an obituary for your lost loved one, here are the common parts of obituaries:

  1. Biographical Sketch – The key word in this portion is “sketch.” Many people are tempted to write a full account of the deceased’s life. While some people may find that interesting or helpful, the obituary is only meant to detail the most important aspects of his life. Some key pieces to include are the date and place of birth, parent names including the mother’s maiden name, date and place of marriage, birth name of spouse, education, work, and military service. Feel free to list events chronologically, or to take a more creative approach. Don’t forget to mention specific important relationships and the effect the deceased had on people’s lives. For example, did he have a great sense of humor? Did he always make time for the kids? Was he an exceptional host, golfer, or singer?
  2. Special Messages – Most people choose to include a special thank you or message at the end. This may also include a prayer or poem.
  3. Photos Include a photo. While this adds to the cost, it is a lovely way to remind people of their connection to the deceased.
  4. Announcement of DeathObituaries usually start with basic information such as the name, age, and place of residence of the deceased. This is followed by the death announcement, including the time and place of death. Most people choose to use a softer word or term than “death,” such as “passed away”, “died”, “went to be with the Lord” etc. Many people are unsure whether or not to list the cause of death in the obituary. At the end of the day, the cause of death is only the family’s business and does not need to be shared unless the immediate family chooses. However, if the death was sudden and unexpected, listing the cause of death in the public obituary might field questions and repetitions at the funeral.
  5. Family – As the saying goes, the funeral is for the living. The same can be said for the obituary, so a key element is listing the surviving family members and loved ones. Take care to not forget anyone, but don’t feel the need to list every single member of the extended family.
  6. Service Times While tradition varies on this element, most obituaries include funeral information so people can attend if they choose. List the essentials: time, full date, and place of service along with the name of the officiate; time, full date, and place of burial or interment if applicable; and finally, time, full date, and place of visitation.

How to Write an Obituary for a Family Member?

Writing an obituary for a family member can be a difficult and emotional task, but it is also an important way to honor the life of a loved one. You want to honor their life while also providing information that will be useful to those who are left behind. By following these tips, you can create an obituary that captures the essence of your family member and provides comfort and support to those who are grieving. Additionally, here are some obituary examples that we hope would help you get started.

Obituary For a Father Examples

Obituary Example 1

William “Bill” Smith, devoted father and loving husband, passed away peacefully on March 3, 2021, at the age of 73. Bill was born on May 12, 1947, in Detroit, Michigan to John and Mary Smith. He was the eldest of four children. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Navy and served during the Vietnam War. Upon returning home, he met the love of his life, Sheila, and they married in 1970. They had two children together, Jennifer and Timothy. In his free time, Bill enjoyed fishing, hunting, and spending time with his family. He was a kind and gentle man who will be deeply missed by all who knew him. A funeral service will be held on March 10 at St. John’s Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Charitable donations may be made to Veterans of Foreign Wars http://www.vfw.org/.

Obituary Example 2

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Smith, father to three and grandfather to six. John was a loving husband and devoted father who always put his family first. He was an active member of his community, always lending a helping hand to those in need. John will be deeply missed by all who knew him. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 12th at 3 pm at St. Mary’s Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in John’s memory. Rest in peace, John. You will be forever in our hearts.

Obituary for a Mother Examples

Obituary Example 1

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Mary Smith. Mary was a devoted wife and mother who always put her family first. She was an active member of her community, always lending a helping hand to those in need. Mary will be deeply missed by all who knew her. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 3rd at 10 am at St. John’s Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society in Mary’s name.

Obituary Example 2

Announcement of the death of a mother. Lydia Ramirez, a devoted wife and mother, passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning at the age of 79. She is survived by her husband Santiago and her three children: Isabel, Maria, and Javier. Lydia was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States in 1979. She was a homemaker and a devout Catholic. Lydia was known for her kindness, her quick wit, and her delicious cooking. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her. A funeral mass will be held on Monday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice.

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Just get in touch with Clay-Barnette Funeral Home if you want to learn more about obituaries or Shelby, NC aquamation services.

Funeral and Cremation Obituaries FAQs

Do You Need to Pay for Obituaries? 

Yes, you usually need to pay for obituaries, but some offer it for free along with the funeral package. Although it is not mandatory to pay for an obituary, many people choose to do so in order to ensure that their loved ones have a written record of their passing. Not only does this give family and friends some closure, but it can also provide details about the deceased’s life that may be of interest or importance to those who knew them.

How Long Should a Good Obituary Be?

An obituary should be as long as it needs to be to say what needs to be said. Some people might only need a sentence or two, while others might need several paragraphs. The goal is to inform friends and family about the person’s death, share any important details or accomplishments, and provide a place for people to share memories and condolences.

Can an Obituary be Used as a Legal Document?

No, while obituaries are often thought of as legal documents, they are actually not. Obituaries are considered news stories, and as such, they do not have any legal significance. While they may be used to provide information about a deceased person’s life, obituaries are not legally binding. This means that obituaries cannot be used to settle estate disputes or for other legal purposes. However, obituaries can be helpful in terms of providing closure for the bereaved and helping to remember a loved one.