Even if you write quite a bit for your job or for fun, you probably have had little experience writing obituaries. After all, most people only write obituaries for their closest family members. Even then, some people choose to assign this task to professionals who do it every day.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Obituary Example for Parents
- Obituary Example for Grandparents
- Obituary Example for a Spouse
- Obituary Example for a Sibling
- Obituary Example for an Only Child
- Obituary Example for a Minor Child
- Obituary Examples for Veterans or Fallen Soldiers
- Obituary Examples for Teenagers
- Obituary Examples for an Infant
- Obituary Examples for a Friend
- Obituary Example for a Blended Family
- Obituary Example for a Young Adult
- Obituary Example for an Ex-Partner or Spouse
- Obituary Example for a Work Colleague
- Obituary Example for a Loved One Who Died From Addiction
- Obituary Example for a Loved One Who Died Suddenly
- Uplifting or Funny Obituary Examples
- Places You Can Post an Obituary for a Loved One
If you recently lost a loved one, you may want to complete this task yourself. After all, you knew your deceased family member better than anyone else. Taking the time to write his or her obituary is an act of love and respect.
Tip: If you'd like more help through the complicated process of losing a loved one, check out our post-loss checklist.
What Should You Include in an Obituary?
It’s important to remember that an obituary isn’t a legal document. Since most newspapers charge the family to print an obituary, it isn’t necessarily a news article either. Instead, it’s a unique type of article that gives notice of your loved one’s death. Additionally, an obituary tells the event details of the end-of-life services and a brief account of the biographical information of someone’s life.
Since the family of the deceased typically writes the obituary or gives the obituary writer details to include, it’s up to their discretion on what to include (and conversely, what NOT to include.)
As you face your task, here are some things you may consider including:
- The deceased’s full name
- Birth and death dates
- Age of death
- Cause of death
- Name of parents
- Community involvement
- Church and club membership
- Names and relationships of survivors
- Time, date, and place of the memorial service
- Memorial donation information
Here are some obituary examples and snippets to get you started.
Obituary Example for Parents
You probably feel like you know your parents well. After all, you probably spent at least 18 years of your life living under their roof. But when it comes to writing their obituary, you may challenge yourself to include details about their life from the time before they were parents as well as the years they spent as empty nesters.
Taking on these challenges and writing about your parent's life before you were born can prove to be difficult, so you might want to talk with others who knew your parents from different settings. For example, consider reaching out to siblings, childhood friends, work associates, or people from their current social circle. You might uncover some truly remarkable things about the person you thought you knew so well.
Of course, you may also learn a bit more about your parents by looking through scrapbooks and boxes of mementos they left behind. For example, you might discover that your modest service-member father was honored when performing an act of bravery or that your mother had quietly been publishing some of her poetry she wrote through the years.
Susan Louise (Thompson) Jones, 85, passed away peacefully at her home on Thursday, March 28, 2020. She was surrounded by her four children and husband of 55 years.
Susan was born on January 13, 1935, on her family’s farm near Smithville, Illinois. She was the fourth of nine children of Michael and Louise (Robinson) Thompson. Susan loved growing up with her large family and helping on the farm, but she hated taking care of the chickens. She often told the story of being chased by the mean rooster and preferred spending time in the garden or caring for the lambs
Susan was a wonderful mother and grandmother. She doted on her family and was happiest when her large brood surrounded her. She hosted large Sunday dinners almost every week where her family feasted on fried chicken and lemon meringue pie."
Samuel Chester McDonald was finally reunited with the love of his life on April 2, 2020. His beloved wife of 68 years, Laura Ann (Smith) McDonald, died in 2014, and Samuel spent the last six years talking about how much he was looking forward to seeing her in heaven.
Samuel lived a long, happy life and died peacefully in his sleep at the Centerville Hospice Center after a short battle with lung cancer. He is survived by three children, Rose (Michael) Porter, Mary (Doug) Winters, and Sammy (Dorothy) McDonald. He was a beloved Papa to 14 grandchildren and recently became a great-grandfather when little Charlotte McDonald was born in February to his oldest grandson and his wife.
Samuel worked hard all his life as an employee of the BNSF Railroad. He loved trains and even had a large model train in his basement that he loved sharing with his grandkids and friends.
Obituary Example for Grandparents
Your grandparents lived a large portion of their lives before you were born. So even though you think of your grandpa as the gray-haired man who wore cardigan sweaters and passed out butterscotch candies, he was much more than that.
To write an obituary that honors a life well-lived, you might need to do some research. Talk with your parents, aunts and uncles, and family friends who knew them at different stages of their lives. Otherwise, the obituary will paint the portrait of how your grandparents lived since you have known them.
It’s easy to pigeonhole a person, but avoid doing so when writing an obituary. Instead, write about their careers, military service, hobbies, and interests. And, also write about what they were like as grandparents—including the fact that your grandpa always passed out butterscotch candies and smelled of Old Spice aftershave. While your goal is to write about their entire lives, you also should add details about what made them special to you.
While some retirees spend their time on the golf course or playing cards, Michael spent his golden years volunteering in the community. He delivered meals to shut-ins, administered communion to the elderly at local nursing homes, tutored children at the local library’s afterschool program, and built hundreds of birdhouses for local parks. Michael had a servant’s heart and lived by 1 Peter 4:10: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
Michael also loved spending time with his sons and their families. As he was a physical education for 28 years, he loved organizing his family into teams for softball games, bean bag tournaments, and pull-up competitions.
Grandma Joyce was a keeper of things. She had enough plastic butter tubs to hold every leftover in the tri-county area. She collected coffee grounds, aluminum pie pans, toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, and bread bags. She was the queen of “reduce, reuse, recycle” before it became a popular way of life.
She also had many passions. Grandma Joyce loved the Texas Rangers, “The Price is Right,” Janet Evanovich novels, and bingo. But Grandma Joyce’s favorite things were her flowers. She grew every variety of iris, peonies, clematis, and chrysanthemum. The members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church will surely miss the altar bouquets that she provided most weeks.
Obituary Example for a Spouse
Writing the obituary for someone you were close to is never easy. But writing the obituary for your life partner may be especially difficult.
When faced with this task, some people find it challenging to narrow down the details they include in the article. For example, you may feel compelled to include details on what made your spouse special—and the love of your life.
Give yourself plenty of time to write the obituary of a loved one—no matter the relationship. First, talk with others about the details to include and write a draft. Then, let others read it and allow it to sit overnight.
The loss of a loved one is a traumatic event, and you may find it difficult to form coherent thoughts. Writing the obituary for your spouse may be a task you find necessary to assign to someone else in the family.
Walter Michael Shone, loving husband and father, died unexpectedly on February 18, 2020, at his home.
Walter was born on April 28, 1972, to Peter and Sandra (Tipp) Shone. His parents were quick to notice Walter’s love of music, which began at an early age. They hired a piano instructor when he was three, and began his lifelong love of the instrument.
Walter was active in Centerville High School’s music program all four years and then went on to study music education at Iowa State University. He taught high school band and choir for 22 years.
Michelle did not let her cancer diagnosis slow her down. In fact, she volunteered in her daughter’s classroom every week, even during radiation treatments. She maintained a positive attitude throughout her illness and showed more concern for her husband and daughters than for herself.
Her family asks that contributions be made to her alma mater, Saint Mary’s College. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in art history and was passionate about spreading the love of arts throughout her community.
Obituary Example for a Sibling
When someone dies, there’s no requirement that somebody must write an obituary. This optional text comes about in loving memory of the deceased. People approach obituary writing in many different ways.
The obituary for your sibling or any other loved one may read like a news article. There are many free templates online, which allow you to fill in the blanks with your loved one's details so that the obituary practically writes itself.
However, some choose to include details about their loved one's personality. They might consist of funny or poignant stories about the deceased that make the reader laugh or cry.
When writing the obituary for your sibling or any other loved one, think about the style you wish to use. There’s no right or wrong way of approaching this task. However, most would say that obituaries are not the place to air old grievances or disclose unflattering information about the deceased.
Beth was a wonderful sister and friend. She hosted countless wedding and baby showers, brought soup to her friends and family when they were sick, left small gifts for people on their doorsteps when they were having a bad day, and was kind to all. Her vivacious and giving spirit will be missed by many.
Even though Beth was taken too soon, she lived an extraordinary life surrounded by people who adored her. Please join us as we celebrate this special person’s life at 1 p.m. on Friday, November 8, at St. Andrew’s Church in Albuquerque.
George loved a good practical joke and spent a lot of time planning elaborate tricks on his brothers and nephews. The only person who was ever spared from his good-natured trickery was his mother, who had taught him everything she knew about planning a good prank.
George also enjoyed deer hunting, fishing for catfish, sitting around a campfire, and making his own beer. His constant companion was his German shepherd, Max.
Jane Marie Smith of Petersburg, Illinois, died in the Petersburg Hospice Center on Monday, March 30, 20XX. She was 58 at the time of death.
Smith was born on July 3, 19XX, to parents George and Marie (Porter) Smith. She was the third of three girls. As a child, Jane loved horses and spent every waking moment at the nearby Petersburg Horse Barn, where her father worked. She began working there in her early teens, and aside from leaving for a brief time for training in North Carolina, she spent her entire career at the facility. She took over her father’s job after George passed in 19XX. Smith devoted her life to her work and thousands of riders over the course of her career.
Smith was also a dedicated daughter and loving sister, but she doted on her six nieces and nephews. She was the fun aunt who spoiled the family’s youth on their birthdays and took them on adventures on their 16th birthdays.
Smith will be missed by many. Those who would like to honor her with a memorial contribution are asked to contribute to the Jane Smith Scholarship fund, which will be awarded to a local high school student each year who plans to work in an animal-related industry.
Jose Garcia of Huntsville, Alabama, went home to Jesus on May 3, 20XX. He was 88 at the time of his passing.
Garcia was born to Jorge and Maria (Sanchez) Garcia on September 8, 19XX. He was the fourth of four boys and spent his time trying to keep up with his older, active brothers. Perhaps because of this early, active lifestyle, Garcia excelled in track. He won the state title for the 800 meters in 19XX.
Garcia earned his Bachelor of Science in secondary education with an emphasis in math from the University of Alabama, and he began working as a middle school math teacher and track coach in the Huntsville school district. He taught and coached thousands of students throughout his career.
Garcia left behind one older brother, Jorge (Juanita) Garcia, and fourteen nieces and nephews. He was a devoted brother and proud uncle, and he spent a lot of time attending his nieces’ and nephews’ sports events.
The family is hosting a visitation at the Porter Funeral Home in Huntsville on May 6, 20XX, at 5:30 in the evening. The Rosary will be recited at 6:30. The funeral will be held at St. Luke’s Catholic Church on May 7, 20XX, at 9 a.m. He will be laid to rest at the St. Luke Cemetery immediately following the funeral service.
Obituary Example for an Only Child
There are no particular guidelines for writing the obituary of a person who was an only child. You would include the same details that often appear in an obituary: the birth and death dates, the deceased's occupation, and (sometimes) the cause of death.
The only difference in writing the obituary for an only child may occur in the section that lists the survivors or those who died before your loved one. Traditionally, this list includes the deceased's spouse, their parents, their children, perhaps their grandparents, and their siblings. However, there are no rules on who to include on this list.
If the deceased were close to their cousins, you might include those names in the "survived by" section of the obituary. You could also list good friends, pets, or anyone else who will mourn the death of your loved one.
Samantha Kane, 23, died after sustaining injuries from a car accident on October 28, 2019. She was the only child of Phillip and Rose Kane, who survive at the family home.
Miss Kane was a recent graduate of Creighton University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in business administration. She was recently hired at Cole and Sons as an account executive and was looking forward to beginning her professional career.
Mr. King is survived by his fiance, Bernice Smith, and his parents, Stewart and Patricia (Porter) King.
Mr. King’s memorial service will be held on Friday, March 13, at 2 p.m. at Davidson’s Funeral Home in Winchester, Idaho. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations to the American Cancer Society be made in his name.
Obituary Example for a Minor Child
Writing the obituary for a child can be a heart-wrenching experience. Please realize that it's ok to seek help when writing an obituary for a loved one—no matter the deceased's age. The staff of a full-service funeral home may assist you with this process. You can also reach out for help from the minister or officiant leading the service. Of course, family and friends will also want to support and assist you during your hour of need.
We know that many of the items on our “list of things to include in an obituary” may not be relevant for a child. However, you should still celebrate their life—even though they didn’t have the opportunity to have a spouse, children, or career.
Write about the deceased’s interests and favorite activities. Who was their favorite band? What was their favorite movie or TV series? Include details about the minor child’s personality.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our sweet baby, Sophia Andrea Krugg. Although Sophia only lived seven months, she brought great joy to her family. They are heartbroken by her loss.
Sophia is meeting her maternal grandparents, Ralph and Cindy Schmidt, in heaven. She is survived by her parents, Michael and Kathy Krugg; a stepsister, Julianne Krugg; grandparents Andrew and Blythe Krugg; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Zeke was a bright and inquisitive child. He enjoyed taking things apart and attempting to put them back together. Even when going through his cancer treatment, Zeke was fascinated with all the machines in the hospital and kept the nurses on their toes by asking how everything worked.
Zeke also liked playing with Legos, listening to country music, playing with his cat Ralphie, and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
He is survived by his mother, Priscilla Jones, and his stepfather, Mike; his father Rick Abernathy and his stepmother, Sasha; a half brother, Samuel Abernathy; and stepsister Bethany Jones.
Obituary Examples for Veterans or Fallen Soldiers
Did your loved one serve our country as a member of the military? Include their military service details in their obituary. Of course, if your loved one spent their lives serving the country, these details may make up the bulk of the obituary.
And, of course, if your loved one died while serving our country, explain to others how they made the ultimate sacrifice.
If the deceased was someone close to you, you probably understand what kind of details to include about their military service. However, if you were not close to the deceased, you may need to complete some research to understand the type of information you should include.
For example, most military obituaries include the service member’s branch and rank. It may also include where and when they served and any decorations or honors they received from their service. The obituary may also highlight the job the deceased performed as an active member of the military.
Sam took great pride in his military career. He completed both Ranger School in 1963 at Fort Benning, GA, and served two combat tours in Vietnam. From 1968 to 1970, his station was in the Philippines, and in 1976-79, he served a tour in Germany. Sam’s at Ft. Belvoir in Alexandria, VA. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years of active duty. His decorations include a Bronze Star and many other commendations and citations awarded during his two decades of selfless service to his country.
Sam spent a great deal of his free time volunteering for veterans’ organizations and civic groups during retirement. Sam also volunteered at voting precincts each election day and faithfully displayed the Stars and Stripes in front of his home. He was a proud American.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the DAV or Wounded Warriors Project.
Maria (Smith) Thompson, 78, passed away after a brief illness on Monday, April 24, 2015, at the Johnson Military Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.
Maria was born in Panama and became a U.S. citizen in 1957. She never returned to her native country.
Maria was a proud American and served in the U.S. Army for twenty-two years, achieving the rank of Sergeant. She received an Honorable Discharge due to medical reasons.
After her military service, Maria went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and worked as a case manager for ten years. She specialized in assisting military members transition back into civilian life.
Her three children and 12 grandchildren deeply loved her. She loved baking, reading and was active in the First Christian Church of Detroit.
Her service will be held on Thursday, April 27, at First Christian Church at 10 a.m.
She’ll be buried with her husband, George, who preceded her in death in 2013.
Obituary Examples for Teenagers
It’s human nature to wonder about the cause of death when a young person dies. However, if you are the family member writing the obituary for a teenager, the question, “what happened?” may cause you additional grief or anger. After all, the cause of death is not anyone’s business. Therefore, do not feel pressured to disclose this information in the obituary.
However, there are a variety of reasons that some families choose to disclose the cause of death. Some may do so to set the record straight or correct rumors that have spread throughout the community.
Some families may include the phrase "as the result of an accident" or "after a long/short illness," which gives the generic cause without disclosing too many details.
Sometimes, families disclose their teenager's cause of death in hopes of preventing a tragedy from occurring to another family.
Sally Marie Smith, 16, went to be with her Lord on April 22, 2018. Sally passed away from injuries sustained from a car accident on that same day.
Sally was born on February 20, 2002, to parents Sam and Silvia Smith. Her parents, siblings Stephanie and Steve, and her precious beagle “Pickle” survive her.
Sally attended Sweet Valley Grade School, where she participated in Art Club and Girls on the Run. She then spent sixth through eighth grade at Spring Town Middle School, where she excelled in the clarinet and running cross country.
Sally was a junior at Spring Town High School, where she was involved in many clubs and activities. She was junior class president, a member of the National Honor Society, and first chair clarinet in the school’s concert band.
Services for Sally will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, April 26, at Spring Town Funeral Home. The family requests that attendees wear purple, which was Sally’s favorite color.
Michael was a friend to everyone. His cheerful disposition and likable personality made it difficult to understand the severe depression he was experiencing. However, Michael took his own life on Saturday, April 26, 2019.
If you are thinking about suicide or are worried about a friend or loved one, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. The Lifeline is open for everyone, is free and confidential—Call 1-800-273-8255 for help.
The family also encourages parents to understand the signs of depression. These may include:
- Sadness (with or without crying)
- Lack of energy and/or motivation
- Temper outbursts and/or violent episodes
- Easily irritated
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Little or no appetite, or eating too often
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Loss of interest in activities usually enjoyed (including school activities)
- Feelings of fear (even if there is no conscious reason)
- Feelings of extreme guilt or shame
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor memory
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Worsening grades
- Skipping school or classes
- Self-critical remarks
- Feelings of helplessness to change a situation
- Feelings that things will never get better
- Comment(s) about death or dying
- Writing, drawing or listening to music about hopelessness, guns, or death
- Threatening suicide (even in a joking manner)
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Obituary Examples for an Infant
Each year, about 24,000 infants are stillborn in the United States, and there may be hundreds of thousands of miscarriages in the U.S. each year. There’s no right or wrong way to commemorate the life of these infants. If you feel drawn to writing an obituary for your son or daughter to share in a local newspaper, on an online memorial site, or your social media account, then this is what you should do. You might include details about how their birth was “highly anticipated.” Or that their life was a “brief gift” for the family.
Writing the obituary of an infant who died hours, days, or months after birth may also be an extremely emotional experience. You might include descriptions of the child’s smile or laugh while also telling others the joy the child brought to your family.
Here are some sample snippets for an obituary for an infant.
Sally Marie Smith was stillborn on Monday, April 22, 2020. Sally was the treasured daughter of Peter and Penelope (Porter) Smith. Among those mourning her loss include her siblings, Sam, Mark, and Simon. Other survivors include paternal grandparents Gerald and Mary Smith and maternal grandparents Roger and Rita Porter.
Sally’s birth was highly anticipated by many as she was the only girl in a family of three boys and 13 male first cousins.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to MEND or another infant-loss support organization.
The family would like to thank the staff of St. Luke’s Hospital in Cleveland for their caring support following the loss of their daughter. They would also like to thank friends and extended family members for the meals and childcare that have been provided over the last several weeks.
The family will be honoring Sally at a private ceremony.
With a broken heart, we announce the death of our beloved baby, Michael Samuel Smith.
Michael was born three weeks ago, on March 9, 2019. He had a congenital heart defect at birth, of which there was no treatment or cure. We treasured the time we had with our precious baby, and we were with him as he took his last breath and went into the loving arms of Jesus.
Even though Michael was not long on this Earth, he brought us great joy. His favorite place to be was in the arms of his mother, and he spent most of his life in her loving embrace.
We want to thank the staff of Menorah Medical Center and Menorah Hospice for the love they showered on our little Michael, as well as the support they have given us over the last several weeks.
Obituary Examples for a Friend
Anybody, including the deceased's family, the funeral home staff, or a long-time friend, can write an obituary. If you have been tasked with writing the obituary for a deceased, here are some things to consider.
Remember, an obituary is different from a eulogy, even though modern obituaries sometimes have phrases similar to what you would find in a speech presented at a wake or funeral.
Typically, an obituary includes facts about the life of the deceased. Finding some of this information means that you might need to spend some time with the next of kin to obtain those necessary details.
Being asked to write the obituary for a good friend is a great honor. Embark upon the task seriously. Of course, present it to the family for approval before having it posted or published.
Michael was a good friend to many. His friends knew that the party was about to get good when he arrived with his bongos. He could entertain people for hours with stories about his time in the service and often-repeated jokes about his loving mom.
Even though Michael’s entire family preceded him in death, he was never alone. The list of survivors and those who mourn his death are in the hundreds.
Instead of a traditional funeral, his friends organized a Celebration of Life on Saturday, May 22, 2018, at The Hang Out on 22nd Street in Peoria. At that time, we will be collecting donations for his end-of-life expenses. All money above and beyond those expenses will be used for a scholarship in his name. Organizers of the event are also requesting that attendees wear Hawaiian shirts in honor of our friend.
Sister Maria Sanchez, 100, passed away October 8, 2020, at the convent where she lived, surrounded by all the Sisters of her religious community.
Sister Maria was born in Puerto Rico on March 12, 1921. On February 8, 1946, she entered religious life and professed her temporary vows on September 3, 1949. Later that year, she came to Boston, MA, professed her perpetual vows on December 9, 1955.
Those who knew her will remember Sister Maria for her humility, kindness, simplicity, and eternal smile. She had a special love for her work in a nursing home near her parish. She joyfully lived her consecration to God in total dedication to the service of the sick and her Sisters.
Sister Maria was preceded in death by her parents, Roderick and Maria Sanchez, and several brothers and sisters. She is survived by her sisters Rosa and Elizabeth.
Friends may pay their respects at St. Michael’s Chapel, 800 N. 18th St., Boston, MA on October 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. The Rosary will be recited at 6:30 p.m., and the Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated October 13 at 10:00 a.m., followed by interment at Saint Michael Cemetery.
Obituary Example for a Blended Family
Consider the feelings of others as you write an obituary. Unfortunately, poor word choice or excluding someone from the list of survivors may cause hurt feelings, making the relationship challenging to repair.
You should also consider how you’d label people in an obituary. For example, some prefer to name stepchildren “children,” but others feel the need to make this designation. But, again, as this isn’t a legal document, it’s up to you to decide how to handle the situation.
Here are some sample obituaries for blended families, with a special focus on the list of survivors.
Brenda left behind her husband, Marcos, who survives in the home. Other survivors include her daughter, Penelope (Michael) Ruiz; her step-son Peter (Samantha) Smith; and her step-daughter Frida Smith (Sandra Porter). Brenda was also the loving Nana to four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Survivors include his four children and their spouses, Peter and Sally Smith of Lakeville; George Smith and Michael Rodriguez of Smithville, Ethan and Petunia Carter of St. Mary; and Norman and Susan Johnson of Shawnee.
Tony had three daughters with his first wife (Barbara, Nancy, and Edith) and two sons with his second wife (Michael and Alexander). Tony also had two step-daughters (Nancy and Dominique).
The couple adopted Susan Jane in 19XX and Brian Christopher in 19XX. While his marriage with Sheila did not last, both went on to remarry. They, and their new spouses, raised exceptional children.
Roger Bramble of Prairie Village passed away on March 3, 20XX, at the Prairie Village Hospital. He was 76. Bramble was a loving father, step-father, grandfather, and uncle. He will be missed by many.
The memorial service will be held at the Prairie Village Funeral Home on March 7 at 2 p.m. The family requests visitors to wear New England Patriots jerseys and spirit wear.
Cynthia was raised by her mother, Rachel, and her step-father Michael Smith alongside her father, Peter, and her step-mother Susan. All of her parents preceded her in death.
Cynthia was survived by her husband, Roger. Their children, Zoey, Matthew, Luke, and her step-son Simon.
Meredith was a loving stepmother to her husband’s three daughters.
Survivors include her husband Brad; step-daughters Halee, Hannah, and Kylie; sister Georgina (Samuel) Porter; and brother Michael (Sandra) Smith. She was preceded in death by her parents and her son Peter, who died as an infant.
Obituary Example for a Young Adult
We are sorry if you have been tasked to write the obituary for a young adult. While many obituaries are able to celebrate a long life, this one will be about a person who was taken too soon.
When facing this task, you might consider whether the family wishes to disclose the reason for the death. After all, when a young person dies, most people wonder what happened to cause the death. However, remember that this isn’t a news article or a legal document. You have no obligation to disclose the cause of death in the young adult’s obituary.
Another issue that might come up when a young person dies is whether or not to include the name of the person’s boyfriend or girlfriend. Of course, families handle this differently. You may consider the length of the relationship and the age of those involved when making your decision. You also might want to ask the opinion of the significant other, as there might be some reason that they would feel uncomfortable being listed as a survivor.
Here are some examples to help you write an obituary for a young adult.
Samantha (Sammy) Peters of Smithville, Oregon, passed away Saturday, March 8, 20XX. She was 23. The death was the result of an accidental drug overdose.
Samantha was born to parents Gregory and Shirley Peters on October 30, 19XX. Her birth was followed by twin brothers (Ethan and Edgar) two years later.
Samantha went to Smithville Grade School, Northeast Middle School, and Smithville High School. She was beloved by her classmates, was elected president of her senior class, and was active in debate and forensics. In addition, she played the role of Dorothy in the school’s production of Wizard of Oz and countless parts in other school productions.
Samantha was survived by her parents, her twin brothers, and her boyfriend, Steve Welch. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Albert and Sylvia Shang, and her paternal grandparents, Alan and Beatrice Peters.
Those who wish to make a donation in Mary’s name are asked to do so with Sunrise House, a shelter for battered women. The family also requests that those attending the funeral wear purple, Mary’s favorite color.
With extreme sadness, we announce the passing of Dan Dooley. Dan was a bright spark in this world and will be deeply missed by many.
Dan passed away, surrounded by his family at his home, on September 3, 20XX. He had bravely fought brain cancer for two years.
Obituary Example for an Ex-Partner or Spouse
One would think that most of the time, an ex-partner or spouse would not be in charge of writing the obituary for their ex. However, this might be the case in your situation – especially if the deceased had few other family and friends.
Perhaps many people are searching for obituary samples for ex-partners or spouses because they wish to know how to handle failed relationships when writing a person’s obituary.
As the previous examples show, there are no hard and fast rules on who to include in the text of an obituary. However, if the deceased’s ex played a significant role in their lives, you might want to include them in the list of survivors. Although, perhaps the partner or spouse at the time of death will have an opinion on this matter.
Here are some obituary examples that include a mention of an ex-partner or spouse. These examples might help you figure out how to word your delicate situation.
Although Sally and Thomas expected to remain together forever, their relationship ended in 1989. However, they continued to stay friends for the rest of their lives.
Survivors include his ex-wife and mother of his girls, Charlotte Scott; daughters Margaret and Chloe; and his sister Beatrice and her husband, Nicky.
Thomas was married to Teresa Babcock on March 4, 19XX. The couple had three daughters: Trina, Tricia, and Tiffany. The marriage ended in divorce in 20XX, but the couple remained friends for the rest of their lives.
Patrick married Melanie Jones in 19XX. The marriage ended in divorce. Patrick then married the love of his life, Sabrina, in 19XX.
Survivors include Sabrina Jones of Horton, daughter Patty Jackson of Detroit, and one granddaughter Holly Jackson of Detroit.
Daniel Everett Morris, 63, passed away on July 6, 20XX, from an unexpected heart attack. Daniel is survived by his loving wife, Cassandra. He was a proud father to two sons: Jason and David. Daniel was preceded in death by his first wife, Megan Davies Morris, and his parents, Colonel Patrick Morris and Maria Robinson Morris.
A short graveside ceremony will be held on Friday, July 10, 20XX, at the Knoxville Cemetery, followed by a reception at the deceased’s home.
Colby is survived by his parents, Tony and Lisa Ouellette, his sister Jennifer, and his ex-long-time partner Michael.
Obituary Example for a Work Colleague
As the colleague of the deceased, you probably won’t be tasked with writing the obituary. However, you might be asked to announce the death of a work colleague to others within your organization. Here are some examples of death announcements in the workplace.
It is with great sadness that I must announce the death of Michael Wainwright Ashbury, President of Ashbury Enterprises. Michael passed away yesterday in his home. He was 69.
During his tenure as president, Michael opened offices in Tokyo, Berlin, and London. He was also integral in the development of the Micron 200X, which increased the availability of our product to more remote areas of the world.
Besides being our corporate leader, Michael was a leader in our industry. He was often asked to speak to congressional leaders.
Michael was survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Judith, and their husky, Micky.
We are sorry for announcing this news in this manner, but Jane Smith, head of the accounting department, died this morning as a result of a car crash. Her family has been notified.
Many of us have worked with Jane since she started here 18 years ago. She was a valuable member of our team and will be greatly missed.
Megan reached out to the Smith family this morning to offer condolences on behalf of our staff. They will let us know when funeral arrangements have been made, and we will close the office so all can attend.
As you already know, Elaine Kramer passed away after a brave battle with breast cancer last Friday. The family announced the plans for her memorial service, and it will be held on Wednesday, February 3, at Palmolive Funeral Home in Spokane at 2 p.m. Susan has agreed to stay in the office to greet customers and answer the phones so the rest of us can attend the services.
Here is the link to the obituary. Please keep Elaine’s family (her husband Carl and daughter Amanda) in your prayers.
Matthew was a valuable member of our team for over 23 years, but you may not know all of his contributions.
Matthew began in the warehouse, where he loaded trucks and organized inventory. However, he was injured in a car accident, and the company transferred him to the inside sales team. He quickly proved his worth and was promoted to the outside sales department, where he won the Salesperson of the Year award eight years in a row.
Obituary Example for a Loved One Who Died From Addiction
Have you been tasked to write the obituary of someone who died from addiction? If you were close to the person, we are sorry for your loss.
As we have mentioned in previous sections of this article, it is important to remember that you aren’t required to name the cause of death in an obituary. Some families choose to leave out this detail for many different reasons.
However, sometimes families want to draw attention to the cause of death so they can use their loved one’s tragedy to help others.
It’s up to the deceased’s family whether this information is disclosed. Unfortunately, the family members may disagree on the best way to approach this problem in some cases.
Here are some obituary samples that share that the deceased died due to their addiction. We also included other examples that do not mention the cause of death.
Emile Shawshank, 23, died from an accidental overdose on Monday, January 1, 20XX.
Emilie was born on November 17, 19XX, to Mary and Richard Shawshank. She was an only child and the apple of her parent’s eye. She had a happy childhood. The family made frequent visits to her grandparent’s farm, and Emilie especially loved collecting eggs from the chicken house and chasing after the newborn lambs.
She graduated from Newhouse High School in 20XX and attended Northwest State University following graduation. She pledged with Kappa Delta and was elected to the social committee. She was majoring in Biology with plans to apply to vet school next fall.
Emilie began experimenting with drugs during her junior year in college. Her family discovered this fact and asked her to attend a treatment program. She promised to do so, and her family and friends thought she was doing well. However, Emilie was hiding her usage from those closest to her. Her usage led to her death.
Emilie’s parents would like to encourage others who may have a substance abuse problem to seek help immediately. In fact, they have started a fund in Emilie’s name to raise money for voluntary drug treatment programs. If you’d like information about the fund or would like to donate to it, please visit Help for Emilie’s website.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Alcoholics Anonymous.
Obituary Example for a Loved One Who Died Suddenly
It is up to you whether you wish to include specific information about the death in the text of the obituary. After all, people grieve their loved ones regardless of whether the death was expected or sudden.
However, you may feel moved to share this detail with others in the obituary, so they don’t feel hurt by not knowing that there was cause for concern.
Here are some subtle ways to write that someone died suddenly.
Kimberly Thomas Greenbriar, 56, died unexpectedly at her home on Friday, May 7, 20XX.
While her family and friends are shocked by her death, they are thankful for her life. Kimberly was a quiet soul who relished the simple pleasures of life. She loved reading, crocheting, and spending an occasional evening with friends. Kimberly also loved exploring hiking trails and photographing wildflowers. She had an uncanny ability to find happiness in her daily activities.
Kimberly is survived by her sister, Beverly (Mickey) Carr; her cousin, Mildred Greenbriar; and many friends.
Daria Lynn Peterson was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She left this world suddenly on August 6, 20XX, at age 59.
She was born to Duane and Donna Asher on June 23, 19XX. After graduating from Mount Vernon High School, Daria served abroad in the Peace Corps, where she met her husband, Rich Peterson. Together, they had three children: Harry, Chad, and Megan.
Daria loved spending time in the kitchen, baking bread and treats that she would share with her neighbors. She was a skilled piano player and filled her home with upbeat jazz and some classical pieces. Daria spent most weekends scouring local antique shops searching for pieces to add to her depression glass collection.
A funeral service is scheduled for 11 am on Tuesday, August 9, 20XX, at Peace Lutheran Church in Mount Vernon. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Heart Association.
Ashley Renee Thompson, 32, died suddenly as the result of a motorcycle accident on Tuesday, March 23, 20XX.
She is survived by her parents, Richard and Eugenia Thompson, and her long-time partner and love of her life, Samantha Renee Richardson.
Ashley will be honored in a beach-side Celebration of Life on March 30, 20XX. Family and friends will gather to share memories and say goodbye to this wonderful soul.
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Uplifting or Funny Obituary Examples
Unique personalities call for unique obituaries. If your loved one was known for their sense of humor, you might consider using a bit of their wit when writing their obituary.
You can approach this task in several different ways. You, as the writer, can attempt to be funny. However, please carefully consider whether your attempts at humor will be appreciated or not. Run it by all of the members of the immediate family.
You may also consider writing a standard obituary with examples of your loved one’s funny exploits. Maybe share their signature joke or “line.”
Finally, you might consider writing your own obituary if you know that death is approaching. You’ll be gone before others can argue that your obituary was in bad taste!
Here are some examples of funny obituaries.
Allen Hilderbrand left this earth for another undisclosed location on July 5, 20XX. He spent most of his life as an unsuccessful comedian, amazingly selling out shows from Topeka to Timbuktu.
He was born to amazingly normal parents, Connie and Maurice Hilderbrand of Ottawa, Iowa. But, even though his parents were honest, hardworking, trustworthy, intelligent human beings, Allen was different. He said he was often sent to the principal’s office during grade school and knew the name of every police officer in town.
Scott Visoscky, loving husband, father, and brother, quietly passed away on April 23, 20XX.
Scott was known for his outrageous pranks. No one was immune to his shenanigans. He even famously pranked his 90-year-old Grandmother, much to her delight.
If you are reading this, I, Oscar Scott Peterson, am dead. Unfortunately, since I wrote this obituary before I died, I can’t include the details of the wheres and whens. However, I’m pretty sure that I will be dying of brain cancer — unless I get hit by a bus first.
Ron Anthony Crady passed away Tuesday, June 3, 20XX. He was 76. He died as he liked to live — while flirting with nurses and watching football on TV. He told a joke and moments later passed peacefully.
Ron had a passionate love affair with football, beer, and pizza. He is survived by his saintly wife, Sandy, and an always-flatulent dog named Fido.
Places You Can Post an Obituary for a Loved One
You can post the obituary for a loved one in several different places. If you have never planned end-of-life services before, you may not be familiar with the steps you need to take to publish an obituary. Here’s some information about the publication of this important text.
Most newspapers require that a funeral home or cremation provider submit the obituary. This direct line decreases the likelihood of falsely printing information regarding the death of an individual.
Most newspapers charge a per-word fee to print obituaries. Depending on the newspaper, you may have to spend hundreds of dollars to publish the article. In addition, there is often an extra fee if you wish to include a photo.
Many newspapers have online versions so that the obituary may be published in both the print and online versions of the publication.
Online memorial website
Several memorial websites allow you to create a remembrance page for a deceased loved one. You may share these pages on social media, and visitors to the page are encouraged to share memories and photos for all to see.
Funeral home or cremation provider websites
Most funeral homes or cremation providers post the obituaries of those whose services they are arranging. Talk with the funeral home staff serving your family about their requirements for the online obituary. Some staff may assist you with writing the obituary, while others will publish the article you provide. Some charge an additional fee to have the obituary posted on their website, but other companies will include the publication as part of their fees.
You may consider writing the obituary about your loved one and posting it to your own social media page. Even though this option is free, there is a benefit to posting the information on a larger public forum. An obituary published in a newspaper or obituary archive will be available in perpetuity and accessed by a broader range of people.
The Most Difficult Writing Task You’ll Ever Do
As the cursor flashes before you on the computer screen, you may be overwhelmed by writing your loved one’s obituary. How do you write the obituary for a mother who was your personal hero and best friend? How do you say goodbye to your four-year-old daughter, who fought so bravely against cancer?
Besides being emotionally difficult, you may also have logistical questions such as the etiquette of listing a predeceased family member? How do you name the "survived by" family members if the father was never part of the person’s life?
Remember to ask for help writing your loved one’s obituary if you find the task proves too overwhelming. Another family member, friend, or funeral home staff member can also write the obituary.