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Remembering Loved Ones Using An Obituary Template

An obituary for a loved one is not required by law. A death certificate is a legal document that must be obtained. In some cases, a death notice must be displayed. An obituary, on the other hand, is a personal record of someone's life that is not required for death documentation.

Obituaries are sometimes written by family members. A funeral home employee may occasionally compose the piece as part of the service they provide to their clients. People are increasingly choosing to write their own obituaries. Here are some things you can include when you’re writing an obituary by using the different obituary template mentioned in this article.

What Is An Obituary?

Man writing an obituary in a notebook with sign pen

An obituary is a written notification of a person's death. It typically contains information on the deceased person's life and personality, as well as specifics about the approaching funeral service.

Typically, newspapers and online memorial pages print obituaries. Obituaries for the famous are routine in the larger newspapers (really, whether they like it or not). For the rest of us, it is far more normal for a family member or friend to pay a local newspaper to publish an obituary they have written or to self-publish it online and post it on social media.

Why Write An Obituary?

However, what is the purpose of an obituary? If you're arranging a funeral for a close relative, it's critical to note that you are not required to write one. However, an obituary might be beneficial if you need to:

  • Notify people in your neighborhood and in the surrounding area that someone has died. There's a chance the deceased had acquaintances and former coworkers with whom you'd like to get in touch. There may be no other way to get in touch with them.
  • Make everyone aware of the funeral plans. In a single motion. When a large number of visitors need to be contacted, it's easy for communication lines to become tangled between the many personnel handling it. An online obituary or obituary in the newspaper might serve as an official record to which they can refer.
  • Document the life and character traits of the subject for the benefit of the public. Fortunately, the majority of us will go our entire lives without making headlines. In an obituary, the best of someone's life can be shared with the community.

An obituary need not be purchased from the local newspaper in order to be published. It's easy to distribute a link to a memorial page you've created online by emailing or posting it on social media.

Is There A Template For An Obituary?

It's important to keep in mind that writing an obituary is simultaneously a confession of loss, an admission of grief, and a celebration. It's a unique way to commemorate a loved one's life. Instead of relying on the obituary templates, create your own by adding experiences, memories, and even inside jokes that your family and friends would enjoy reading. Recall: this is a chance for you to pay tribute to a loved one in a unique way. So why not ask them if they liked music and have them share a couple of their favorites? It's entirely up to you, of course.

Here are some of the obituary templates you can use.

Short Obituary

Sample of a short obituary of an old woman

A brief obituary should include crucial dates and basic information about the dead and remaining family members. Short obituaries are written when someone desires to contribute to the public record that someone has died, or for those who wish to keep their lives private.

Short Obituary Template

[Full name], [age], of [place of residence], passed away on [date of death] from [cause of death].

[First name] was predeceased by [list of family members who have passed away]. [She/He] is survived by [list of family members who are still alive].

Short Obituary Example

Janet Rose McArthur, 82, of Cleveland, Ohio, passed away on December 18th from emphysema.Janet was predeceased by her parents, James and Martha, and her husband, Tom. She is survived by her two sisters, Amanda and Shirley, her four children, Craig, Jill, Maggie, and Benjamin, and her nine grandchildren.

Short Obituary - No Events Planned Template

My [father/mother/relation], [name], passed away on [date] after a brief illness. [He/she] was [age].

[He/she] is survived by [list of surviving relatives]. [He/she] was predeceased by [list of predeceased relatives]. There are no events planned, as [he/she] did not wish to have services.

You may make a donation to [cause] in [his/her] honor as an alternative to flowers.

Short Obituary - No Events Planned Example

My father passed away on January 18th, 2020 after a brief illness. He was 65. He is survived by his brother, Ardeshir, his sister, Aria, and his father Jalal. He was predeceased by his mother, Wanessa. There are no events planned, as he did not wish to have services.You may make a donation to ACLU in his honor as an alternative to flowers.

Standard Obituary

Sample of a standard obituary posted online

After someone has died, a traditional obituary is a means to present an overview and story of their life. Obituaries often include all of the normal data of someone's life (date of birth, death, survivors, etc.) as well as an outline of what they've accomplished and were passionate about throughout their lives. People frequently write about how they influenced the communities around them or other people close to them, how their families came to be, what they valued in their spare time, and so on.

Standard Obituary Template

[Full name], [age], of [place of residence], passed away on [date of death] after a [descriptor] battle with [cause of death].

[First name] was born on [date and year of birth] to [parents] in [city of birth]. After graduating from [name of high school] in [high school graduation year], [he/she] went on to study [college major] at [college name].

After graduation, [he/she] landed [his/her] first job as a [job title] for [company], kicking off a [career length] career in [field].

In [year they met], [he/she] met [spouse name], and they wed in [marriage year], going on to have [number of children] children, [list of children’s names].

After retiring in [retirement year], [first name] spent [his/her] time [list of favorite activities].

[First name] was predeceased by [list of family members who have passed away]. [She/He] is survived by [list of family members who are still alive].

Standard Obituary Example

Louis Park, 75, of Los Angeles, CA, passed away on March 31st after a valiant battle with stomach cancer.Louis was born on January 27th, 1943 to David and Esther Park in San Francisco, CA. After graduating from Galileo High School in 1961, he went on to study English literature at the University of California Irvine.After graduation, he landed his first job as a writer for the Los Angeles Daily News, kicking off a 35-year career in journalism.In 1968, he met Jane (McAllister) Lee, and they wed in 1970, going on to have three children, Megan, Harold, and Chris.After retiring in 1998, Louis spent his time volunteering at the Los Angeles Historical Society, gardening, rooting for LA Dodgers, and spoiling his 8 grandchildren as much as possible.Louis is predeceased by his parents and his brother, James. He is survived by his wife, Jane Lee; his sister, Sophia (Arnold) Cho; his three children, Megan (Thomas) Jackson, Harold Lee and Chris (Amanda) Lee; and his eight grandchildren, David, Jack, Liz, Eric, Daniel, Hannah, Gace, and Kari.

Standard Obituary 3 - Never Married Template

We mournfully announce the passing of [Full name], [age], of [place of residence]. [First name] passed away on [date], after a hard fought battle with [illness].

[First name], born to [parents’ names], took [his/her] first breath on [date and year of birth]. [First name] was a force to be reckoned with from the get-go, graduating from [name of high school] in [year of graduation] and [name of college] in [year of college graduation]. [She/he] pursued and was awarded a degree in [degree type].

While [First name] never married, [she/he] lived a full and vibrant life with more friends than you could count. [His/her] nephews and nieces meant more to [him/her] than words can describe.

When [First name] retired, [she/he] devoted most of [his/her] time to [hobbies & interests]. [She/he] was also an active member of [clubs/organizations]. We will miss [him/her] dearly.

Services will be held at [location] on [date] at [time]. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to [organization or name of fund].

Standard Obituary 3 - Never Married Example

We mournfully announce the passing of Sandra Chao, 65, of Augusta, Maine. Sandra passed away on December 15th, after a hard-fought battle with leukemia.Sandra, born to parents’ names, took her first breath on April 3rd, 1950. Sandra was a force to be reckoned with from the get-go, graduating from Albright High in 1968 and Mills College in 1972. She pursued and was awarded a degree in Microbiology.While Sandra never married, she lived a full and vibrant life with more friends than you could count. Her nephews and nieces meant more to her than words can describe.When Sandra retired, she devoted most of her time to gardening, woodworking, and bird watching. She was also an active member of Montana’s Horticulture Assembly & Friends of the Wildlife - Chapter 201. We will miss her dearly.Services will be held at Centurion Cemetery on February 17th at 9:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite wildlife organization in Sandra’s name.

Military Obituary

Sample of a military obituary posted online

Military obituaries are written to honor a Veteran's military achievements and victories. In general, the obituary should include all of the information included in a standard obituary (date of death, accomplishments, family information, professional information, etc.) but should also emphasize their military service. In a military obituary, family members frequently note any pertinent military honors, whether or not a veteran was wounded, important fellow veterans, notable battle or conflict participations, and other military achievements.

Military Obituary Template

[Rank] [name], [age] passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family at [his/her] [location] home on [date]. [Name] was a decorated veteran who served in the [war] and spent another [number] years in [the reserves/active duty].

[Name] was born on [birth date] in [location] to his parents [parent’s names]. When [he/she] was just [age], [name] decided [he/she] wanted to join the [military branch] and was stationed at [base name] in [location]. [Name] would go on to serve in the [war / battle] with some of [his/her] closest friends [name of friends].

After serving in [battle/location/war], [name] spent time abroad in [location]. During his time in [location], [he/she] met and fell for [name], who [he/she] soon married in [year]. [Name] and [name] chose to settle in the town of [location].

After moving to [location], [name] started working at [employer]. [He/she] worked at [employer] for [number] years.

When [he/she] wasn’t working, [name] had a passion for [hobby] and [hobby].

[First name] was predeceased by [list of a family member who has passed away]. [She/He] is survived by [list of family members who are still alive].

The family requests that flowers be sent to [location]. There will be a funeral service held at [time, date] at [location].

Military Obituary Example

Sergeant Michael Abrams, 73, passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and family at his Seaport, MO home on February 17th, 2019. Michael was a decorated veteran who served in the Vietnam war and spent another 15 years in the reserves after active duty.Sgt. Abrams was born on October 12th, 1946 in San Diego, CA to his parents Michael & Sarah Abrams. When he was just 18, Michael decided he wanted to join the Army and was stationed at Fort Irwin Army Base in Barstow, CA. Michael would go on to serve in the Vietnam War with some of his closest friends James McAvey and Jackson Currey. After serving in Vietnam, Sgt. Abrams spent time abroad in Germany and France, two countries that became very close to his heart. During his time in France, he met and fell for Sophie Martin, who he soon married in 1978. Sophie and Michael returned to America in 1980, where they chose to settle in Michael’s hometown of San Diego, CA.After returning to San Diego, Michael started his own engineering consulting firm, Abrams & Sons. Michael taught John and Alex everything he learned while serving abroad and together they built one of the best engineering firms in all of Southern California. When he wasn’t working, Michael had a passion for fly fishing and hiking. He loved being outdoors and was a board member of the National Hiking Association.Sgt. Abrams was an accomplished engineer, a loving father, and a brave and honorable soldier. He is survived by his wife, Sophie, and his two sons John and Alex who carry on his legacy by taking over his engineering firm. Michael is preceded in death by his parents, Michael & Sarah Abrams, and his sister Louise. There will be a private service held at All Saints Chapel on February 21st at 3 PM. The Abrams family welcomes any and all stories, photos, and memories that Michael’s friends and colleagues would like to offer. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Abrams home in San Diego on February 22nd at 12 pm, please contact Sophie for details. Flowers are welcome at All Saints Chapel, 5123 Main Street, San Diego, CA.

Christian Obituary

Sample of a Christian Funeral Obituary posted online

The relevant Christian components of one's life are highlighted in Christian obituary templates. Favorite passages, a description of the loved one's membership in the church, or other important religious achievements are frequently included. If a loved one was active in and passionate about a local Christian community other than a church, it's a good idea to mention it in the Christian obituary.

Christian Obituary Template

[Full name] went home to Jesus on [date of death] at age [age].

[First name] was born to [parents’ names] on [date of birth] in [place of birth]. As a child, [description of childhood activities].

[First name] met [her/his] [husband/wife], [spouse name] in [year they met] at [place they met]. They married [when married] and went on to have [number of children] children, [list of children’s names]. [Any major moves]

In addition to being a dedicated and loving mother, [first name] also loved [favorite activities]. Throughout [her/his] entire life, [he/she] held an unwavering faith in God, which [he/she] shared with those who surrounded [him/her].

[First name] joins [list of family members who have already passed] in Heaven. [She/He] is survived by [list of family members who are still alive].

[Psalm]

Christian obituary example

Deborah “Debbie” Anne Sanders went home to Jesus on July 7, 2018, at age 72.Debbie was born to Adam and Mary Cohen on January 2, 1946, in Port Wing, Wisconsin. As a child, she excelled in school and ran track on her school’s varsity team.Debbie met her husband, Keith Sanders in 1963 at a church dance. They married two years later on June 23, 1965, and went on to have five children, Anne, Christina, Max, Jane, and Tommy. In 1972, they moved their family to Madison, Wisconsin.In addition to being a dedicated and loving mother, Debbie also loved working in her garden, staying actively involved in the PTA, and holding various volunteer roles at High Point Church. Throughout her entire life, she held an unwavering faith in God, which she shared with those who surrounded her.Debbie joins her parents, Adam and Mary, and her brother, David, in Heaven. She is survived by her husband, Keith, her sisters, Theresa and Catherine, her children, Anne (Jack), Christina, Max (Amanda), Jane (Bill), and Tommy (Amber), and her grandchildren, Suzie, Max Jr., and Michael.Psalm 91:11“For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.”Exodus 23:20“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”

Jewish Obituary

Sample of a jewish obituary online

Despite the fact that Jewish funerals differ greatly from Christian funerals, a Jewish obituary is nonetheless quite conventional in most cases. With the exception of any outstanding religious accomplishments, the Jewish obituary is similar to a regular obituary. Shiva, the three-day mourning period (or seven-day mourning period), should be mentioned in a Jewish obituary.

Jewish Obituary Template

[Full name], [age], of [place of residence], passed away on [date of death] after a [descriptor] battle with [cause of death].

[First name] was born on [date and year of birth] to [parents] in [city of birth]. After graduating from [name of high school] in [high school graduation year], [he/she] went on to study [college major] at [college name].

After graduation, [he/she] landed [his/her] first job as a [job title] for [company], kicking off a [career length] career in [field].

In [year they met], [he/she] met [spouse name], and they wed in [marriage year], going on to have [number of children] children, [list of children’s names].

After retiring in [retirement year], [first name] spent [his/her] time [list of favorite activities].

[First name] was predeceased by [list of family members who have passed away]. [She/He] is survived by [list of family members who are still alive].

The family requests that flowers be sent to [location]. There will be a funeral service held at [time, date] at [location]. Shiva will be held at [time, date, location].

Jewish Obituary Example

Sam Hardt, 72, of New Orleans, LA, passed away on January 7th after a long battle with Parkinson’s.Sam was born on January 27th, 1947 to Jonah and Emily Hardt in Baton Rouge, LA. After graduating from Baton Rouge High School in 1964, he went on to study Architecture at Louisiana State University. He graduated in 1968 with honors and was almost immediately accepted into numerous internships.After graduation, he started his first job as an Architecture Assistant for a New York Firm, which kickstarted a 20-year career in architecture and city planning.In 1980, he met Emily Shepherd, who would later become his wife and lifelong partner. Emily and Sam went on to have two children, Samuel and Sarah.After Sam retired in 2000, he spent much of his time pursuing his favorite hobbies which included woodworking and fishing. Sam spent many summers at his summer home in upstate New York, where he’d teach his children to fish and camp.Sam is predeceased by his parents, Martha and Earl. He is survived by his wife, Emily; his sister, Farrah, and his children Samuel & Sarah. The funeral service will be held at Touro Synagogue at 1 PM, January 11th. Shiva will be held at the Hardt home, starting at 3 PM on January 12th.

What Should You Never Put In An Obituary?

Man reading an obituary in a newspaper in the morning

Consider the following items to omit from your loved one's obituary.

Exact Birth Date

When writing an obituary, more people are opting to leave out the deceased's specific birth date.

Unfortunately, scammers can exploit this information to steal the deceased's identity. While it is customary for families to include the deceased's age at death, increasingly often omit the facts of the birth.

Mother’s Maiden Name

Some people choose to leave out your mother's maiden name when writing an obituary because it is frequently the solution to security questions.

Some individuals find this irritating because a person's mother's name is an important part of their identity. Scammers, unfortunately, frequently want it as well.

Address

In an obituary, never give the deceased's specific address. Criminals have been known to use obituaries to find out when family members will be out of the house for a funeral. Make it difficult for these criminals by indicating a location that will be unattended at a specified time.

Unfortunately, anyone with a computer and access to the internet can find this information. As a result, you may wish to warn your neighbors to be on the watch while you attend your loved one's funeral.

Education

You are not required to give any information about your loved one's education, however, some people opt to include the graduation high school or college to assist others in identifying the deceased.

Include your loved one's educational accomplishments in the obituary if they were a source of pride for you. If your loved one was always careful not to achieve a specific educational level, consider leaving this information out of the obituary.

It is worth noting that some families view their loved one's inability to complete high school as a source of pride. Some people can achieve great things without a formal education, and if this happened in the life of a loved one, you may want to share his or her story with others as a source of encouragement.

Parents

Not everyone has a cookie-cutter family comprised of a mother, father, and 2.5 children. Indeed, your loved one may have never known who his or her father was. This is not a required detail for the obituary. Alternatively, if your loved one had a relationship with only one parent, you may choose to list that individual and exclude the person mentioned on the birth certificate.

Before writing the "preceded in death by" portion of your family member's obituary, you may want to study the etiquette for predeceased family members.

Ex-spouses

Even if the connection resulted in multiple children, you are not required to include the names of ex-spouses or partners in your loved one's obituary.

Of course, you may include this information, particularly if all parties are amicable. If the partnerships are tumultuous, you may want to limit your listing to the children born from the union.

Children

Some people, for that matter, have strained relationships with family members. This could include the deceased's children. Because of these types of ties, writing an obituary can be difficult, which is likely one of the reasons why some families prefer to skip this step.

Consider the impact of your words when writing an obituary for a loved one. Simply omitting a person's name from a list in an obituary may jeopardize future relationships with that person. Even if you are aware that the deceased had a difficult relationship, how you label a person in an obituary might help to heal years of pain.

Jobs Or Careers

Some people place a high value on their careers. Many people are proud of their achievements in specific industries. Others merely see their career as a way to earn money so they can pursue their passions.

If your loved one's jobs were not very joyful, you do not have to include them. You can replace it with hobbies or activities that your loved one enjoyed.

Cause Of Death

When someone dies, it is natural to question "what happened?" but that is none of our concern. The reason for death does not have to be mentioned in the obituary, but it will be on the death certificate.

Because sharing this material may be very distressing for some family members, it's best to leave it out in some cases.

Survivors

Survivors' names should not be mentioned in obituaries, according to the AARP. This is based on previous advice that saying these things could make you a target of criminal activity.

Negative Feelings

Not everyone on this planet is easy to get along with. You may be assigned the responsibility of writing an obituary for such a person, and you may be tempted to include some unflattering details about your connection in the obituary's wording. Please understand that you will almost certainly regret this choice.

Leave the obituary for your loved one unwritten if you can't write it without your negative emotions getting in the way.

Details For The Service

Certain families elect for closed funeral services. This could be for a variety of reasons, and it is entirely within their rights to do so.

Non-public funerals should not provide specifics for services. You may include the phrase "a private funeral will take place at a later date."

Jokes

While you may be the light of the party, keep your humorous abilities in check when writing an obituary. In an obituary, jokes do not come through well. This will only function if the deceased penned the obituary prior to his or her death.

Notable Obituary Content Alternatives

Womans hands writing an obituary in a notebook with a pen in front of laptop

So, how do you write an obituary when you don't have all of the preceding information? There are numerous things you might include in an obituary to commemorate your loved one's life.

Hobbies

Was your father an avid motorcyclist? Do you think your mother ever went to a Kansas City Chiefs game?

Include all of this information in the obituary of your loved one. Friends and family of the current generation will find solace in the knowledge that future generations can get a glimpse of their personalities.

Favorite Volunteer Projects

Perhaps your sister volunteered hundreds of hours to the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

Perhaps your daughter was particularly enthusiastic about kitten fostering. Consider including this in her obituary to spread the word. By observing how and where someone spends their time, you can gain a wealth of information about them.

Positive Personality Traits

If your loved one was universally adored, include this characteristic in his or her obituary. Certain individuals exhibit such obvious generosity, kindness, or tranquillity that these characteristics should be appreciated.

Accomplishments

Depending on the circumstances, your loved one may have accomplished incredible things in life that had little to do with education or professional aspirations. Include a list of your accomplishments in your obituary.

Perhaps you could write about how he or she took part in the New York City Marathon on his or her behalf. Perhaps your loved one visited all seven continents or all of the United States' national parks. These are the kinds of facts that people find interesting to read about in obituaries, and they should be included.

How Many Words Should An Obituary Be?

Sample of short death announcement in a facebook post seen in a mobile phone

You may be requested to write an obituary if a loved one has passed away. It may appear to be a difficult undertaking, and many people wonder if they've written enough or if they've rambled on for too long.

What is the ideal length for an obituary? The average length is around 200 words, with some exceeding 400 words and others being as short as 50. However, there have been some well-known cases of extraordinarily long obituaries. Over the last 40 years, the New York Times has written a number of extensive obituaries, including:

  • Pope John Paul II has a total of 13,870 words. The second-longest-serving pope in modern history received the longest obituary ever published by the New York Times. "More than outgoing, he was all-embracing — a bear-hugging, larger-than-life man of action who had climbed mountains, performed in plays, written books, and seen war, and he was determined from the start to make the world his parish and go out and minister to its troubles and see to its spiritual needs," according to his obituary.
  • Richard Nixon, President: 13,155 characters. The presidency of Richard M. Nixon was marred by controversy. An extensive portion of his obituary focused on the Watergate incident and its ramifications for Americans as a whole. His public profile grew steadily after entering politics in 1946, and he went on to make history as the first American president to visit communist China and the first president to voluntarily resign from office. Millions of Americans experienced contradictory feelings as a result of his work over the years."
  • President Ronald Reagan's speech contains 11,411 words. It's unsurprising that President Reagan's obituary is so lengthy, given that he was both a movie star and an enormously popular president. It said in part: "To a nation in desperate need of a hero, a nation bruised by Vietnam, scarred by Watergate, and humiliated by the hostage crisis in Iran, Ronald Reagan held up the promise of a return to grandeur, the promise that America would once again stand tall.'"

That length is unsuitable for the majority of people, even those who have led extremely interesting lives. Additionally, a lengthy obituary can be pricey, as publications often charge per line. Choosing an online obituary can frequently save families hundreds of dollars.

Conclusion

It's wise to give yourself plenty of time to write an obituary or eulogy. It is never a good idea to write something in haste and then send it to a funeral home. Rather than that, adopt a more systematic approach.

Examine examples, compose a rough draft, have people read and add, and then sleep on it. Individuals who are in sorrow frequently lack clarity of thought. Allow yourself time to recall to add your father's military experience and the fact that your mother lost a sibling in infancy in his obituary. You're going to be pleased you did.

About The Authors

Steve Martins - I am a certified graphic designer and I earned my bachelor’s degree in Communication Design. I worked with many brands like Uniqlo and Huawei but also independent smaller Barcelonian brands like Caravelle and Madrid’s Hola Coffee and I have completed over 2000 projects in the last 5 years.

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