How to write an Obituary
Do you need help writing an obituary? The experienced staff at Koskey Funeral Home is here to guide you on how to write an obituary. Whether you would like to see some obituary examples or would like us to assist in the writing process we are here to help you.
An obituary's length might possibly be determined by the room or space available (and the related costs) in the newspaper where it will be published.Therefore it's best to make sure how much space or room you have before you start your composition. Keep in mind that the obituary needs to appear in print a few days prior to the memorial service. There is certainly some occasions where this may not be possible, therefore give some thought to the recommendations below when composing the obituary.
What You Should Include
Typically, it is essential that the full name, along with the location and date of passing are included to ensure that there is no confusion over who has died.
You may also wish to consider inserting a photograph (which can appear as black & white or in color based on the newspaper's layout) with the text . There are typically extra charges applied if you are thinking of using a photograph.
Should you desire, mention where the deceased resided. You should never include the street address, for security reasons; just mention the city and region/state/province/county.
In a concise manner, write about the meaningful events in the life of the deceased. This could certainly include the schools he or she attended and any degrees attained; also you can include any vocations or hobbies that the deceased was involved with.
Add Relatives Names
It is common to include a list of those who have survived the deceased, in addition to those who passed away prior to the death of your loved one. The list should include (where applicable):
Spouse and children
Half & step children
Half- & step-siblings
The family members included above may be listed by name. Other family members will not be mentioned by name but may be contained in terms of their relationship to the deceased. In other words, the obituary may identify that the deceased had 5 grandchildren, or 7 great-grandchildren.
Also, anyone included as a special friend or companion is not usually included amongst the list of survivors unless the deceased's blood relatives request that it be so. The obituary's traditional intention is to list survivors either related through the bloodline or marriage.
Additional information such as where the body will be laid to rest, and any pallbearer's names or names of honorary pallbearers, may be mentioned.
At this time list the details of the location, date and time of any services for the deceased: these may include the funeral service, burial, wake and memorial service where appropriate.
Tip for Crafting a Complete Obituary
Do use such terms as "visitation will be from" or "friends may call from". You should never say the deceased will "lie in state" as that only applies to a head of state such as the prime minister or president.
Don't use the expression "in lieu of flowers" when memorial donations are to be requested, as this limits how readers can share their sympathy. Perhaps they want to send flowers to the family–and unless you are adamant that flowers are not preferred, the phrase is decidedly “off-putting”. Instead merely start the concluding paragraph of the obituary with the words "Memorial donations may be made to" and then state the charity’s name.
If you wish, send the obituary to newspapers in other cities or towns where the deceased may have resided in the past.
Acquire copies of the obituary to send to distant relatives and friends.
Any and all information to be contained in the obituary should be verified with another member of the family. A newspaper will have to verify with the funeral home being utilized that the deceased is definitely being taken care of by that funeral home.
Seeing as most newspapers charge by the word when placing an obituary, it may not necessarily be feasible to mention everything that we have listed in our guidelines. Use your own personal discretion and do not put yourself under any financial hardship. Your loved one would understand.
Today there are online memorials, such as the Book of Memories™, where the obituary can be available for the cyber-community of the deceased to view. It is also a place where friends and family can leave messages of condolence, light a memorial candle, or share photographs and videos. If this sounds like a good option for your family, contact us to learn more.