Writing An Obituary

If you are on this page due to the death of a loved one, we would like to sincerely say, we are sorry for your loss and are here to assist you by providing this helpful, practical and easy to use website.

Writing an obituary is an important task that allows for the life story of the deceased to be told and honored. Your loved ones obituary will be read by many and we provide an opportunity for friends and family to add information, anecdotes, comments, memories and photos that make their personality come through.

The basic obituary includes:

  • full name (first, middle, last, maiden, jr, sr, and nick names)
  • age
  • date of birth (those concerned with “identity theft” could list month & year only)
  • date of death
  • city and state of residence
  • name of spouse or partner
  • survived by
  • predeceased by
  • information about the memorial service, funeral, visitation and/or burial

Additional information to consider:

  • lifetime accomplishments
  • career/employment
  • education
  • places of residence
  • military service
  • activities (such as social organizations and hobbies)
  • donations (flowers, charity or fundraiser) include address

Most obituaries follow a basic format that can seem dry and boring, but here at obituaryusa.net, we encourage you to expound on your memories of your departed. Think about how they would want to be remembered.

Unlike a newspaper where words are numbered, you are encouraged to tell a life story that is indeed worthy of writing and reading about. Share quotes, songs, activities or poems that were meaningful to this person. Post photos of them during many phases of their life.

Print this obituary to share as a program at the funeral and memorial service.


A paragraph general guide would be as follows:

Death notice: List Full Name, Age, Date, Place and cause of Death

Birth information: Date, City and State, and full names of parents

Life story/Biography: Use as many paragraphs as necessary to tell about their life. Readers love short interesting paragraphs. Start with their early life and progress chronologically. Contact family members and close friends to get insightful information and observations. Write about the deceased’ employment, education, hobbies, pets, sports, military service, travel, organizations/clubs, passions, church affiliation, awards, achievements, etc. Stop and reflect on what your loved one would want expressed about them. You could even write a paragraph about their character.

Preceded relatives: This list can be as long as necessary. It could start by saying “______” was preceded in death by: ______, and then list family members such as husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, and parents.

Surviving Relatives: This paragraph would start with the name of the deceased. “______” is survived by ______, and as many names as are meaningful. Normally, husbands, wives, partners, sisters, brother, parents, and children are listed, but grandchildren and even great grandchildren. Grandchildren and great grandchildren can be listed by name or if too numerous, you can simply write, 17 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Include extended family and stepfamily as well. Also, this is not a time to leave anyone out. Even if there have been disputes in the family, leaving someone out can only further alienate that someone and deepen the scars.

Service Times: It is essential that this information is accurate and complete. If the service is open to the public include the time, date and location of service/memorial/funeral/visitation/burial/reception. If services are private the obituary would simply state that a private service is being held.

Special Thanks: This paragraph is typically used when the deceased has had exceptional care from an institution such as a hospital, a nursing home, rehabilitation center, or hospice care. Names of physicians, nurses, relatives or other caregivers can be mentioned here as well.

Memorials, Charity and Donations: This is where you would divulge the wishes of the family regarding flowers or donations. Include specifics on where flowers or donations are to be sent.

For example, you could write that on behalf of the deceased, flowers can be sent to ______(name and location). In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the local hospice association. Additionally, it is acceptable to say in lieu of flowers, the family is requesting financial assistance.

Lastly, yet extremely important, is the need to proof read and have someone else check your writing for typos.