To write a sample obituary, plan to cover the following topics: announcement of death, life, family and service information. You can modify or add additional details depending on how you want to focus the obituary. Some of the obituary, such as details of life and family, can be written in advance, while other information cannot be added until the person has passed away.
An obituary usually begins with the name of the deceased and an announcement of the death. This includes the person's full name, age at death, place of residence, date of death and cause of death, if appropriate.
Next, give details about the life of the deceased. Possible details include date and place of birth, names of parents and siblings, marriage, education, employment and social involvement. Some obituaries give more personal or humorous details, such as a story from childhood or an unusual achievement.
The next section in an obituary covers the family of the deceased. First, list those who survived the deceased, starting with spouse and children, and including grandchildren, parents and siblings. The obituary can also include these relatives' spouses and places of residence. If desired, include more distant relatives, special friends or pets. After listing survivors, list those who have passed away, in the same order as you listed survivors.
Conclude the obituary with details about the funeral service, if applicable. Include date, time and place, and details for any visitation or reception. Also give the date and place of interment (if known), the name of the funeral home handling arrangements and contact information. If you want to include information about a memorial fund or suggestions for donations, put this at the end of the obituary.