12 Sample Obituaries for Mothers & Grandmothers

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It can be difficult to cope with losing your mother or grandmother. For many, mothers and grandmothers play a huge role in your life. They can provide love, and nurturing care. Losing a maternal figure can be especially difficult.

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One of the best ways to repay them for their care is to honor them with a well-written obituary. Here are some examples of obituaries for the maternal figures in our lives to help you write an obituary.

Steps for Writing an Obituary for a Mother or Grandmother

If you’ve never written an obituary before, it may seem like an insurmountable task. We’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process.


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Step 1: Gather any information you may need

Certain pieces of biographical information are generally expected to be included in an obituary. Making sure you know this information before starting can help the writing process go more smoothly. Here is a brief list of the information you should collect ahead of time:

  • The full name of the deceased. If the deceased preferred to go by a particular nickname (like Betty instead of Elizabeth), you can add that parenthetically after their full name and continue using the nickname throughout the rest of the obituary. If the deceased changed their name after marriage, you could also include their original last name. If the deceased was a transgender individual, the best practice is only to use their chosen name and not their birth name. 
  • The age of the deceased.
  • The deceased’s date and place of birth.
  • The deceased’s date and place of death.
  • Key places where the deceased resided throughout their lives.
  • A list of surviving relatives. Many people also include the names of parents, siblings, or spouses that passed away previously and list them as “predeceased”.
  • If the funeral is open to the public, include details about the funeral service, including the date, time, and location. If it is a private service, you can indicate that and withhold the specific details.  

You can also include the cause of death, although this is optional. Many families choose to omit this information, so it’s fine to do so if the family doesn’t wish to broadcast the cause of death.

Step 2:  Create a soothing space to write

It can be difficult to write an obituary when you’re in mourning and feeling pressed for time. Take a few moments to set up a space that will foster creativity. This may include lighting a candle, playing hot music, or brewing a mug of chamomile tea to sip as you write.

Step 3: Write the obituary 

Craft an obituary that includes the information listed above. Many people also include more personal details about the deceased to make it feel more sincere and heartfelt. You’re not just summing up the minutiae of a person’s life - you’re also telling the story of who they were and what they meant to the people who loved them. We’ve put together some samples below that you can reference. 

Step 4: Edit the obituary

An obituary is meant to record and memorialize a person’s life and accomplishments, so accuracy is key. Take the time to verify that all the details are correct. If the deceased was a doctor, make sure she’s listed as “Dr.” and not “Mrs.”. If you include their alma mater, write Michigan State University and not the University of Michigan. If possible, have another trusted friend or family member read it over for mistakes and get their input. 

Example Obituaries for Mothers and Grandmothers

Writing an obituary is just one of the tasks you might be taking on for the first time when a loved one dies. If you need a little help with those tasks and the other challenges of loss, check out our post-loss checklist

For a stay-at-home mom

Excerpt from a sample obituary for a mother over an image of flowers

Sample one

“On October 6, 2019, Sarah James passed away peacefully at age 87 after a brief illness. Sarah was the biological mother of two children. However, many people considered Sarah their surrogate mother.

When Sarah’s children were young, the phrase “stay-at-home-mom” didn’t exist. It was usual for women to stay home with the children while their husbands worked. But even by the standards of the era, Sarah was an exceptional wife and mother. She cared deeply for her family and neighbors. She did this not out of obligation, but because of who she was. She was always the first to offer help. She regularly brought meals to the home of sick neighbors. And she always ensured that every child who crossed her threshold was safe, healthy, and happy.

Sarah is survived by her daughter Elizabeth Scott, her son Connor James, and four grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Robert.”

Sample two

“On November 1, 2019, Dahlia Reese got her wings and went to walk with the angels. She was 37 years old.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Dahlia didn’t share the dream of stardom that brings so many people to her hometown. Her dream was to get married and have children. She was more than happy to be the central figure in the lives of her children. Anyone who knew them knew that she was a star in their eyes, and that’s all that ever mattered to her.

Dahlia is survived by daughter Alice, son Jason, and husband Mark. A visitation will be held at Spencer and Sons Funeral Home on 1357 Main St. from 10 am to 12 pm. It will be followed by a burial service.”

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For a mom who had a long career

Sample one

“Lilly St. Claire of Santa Monica, CA passed peacefully away in her sleep on October 15, 2019. She was 70 years old. A lifelong philanthropist, Lilly began raising money for children’s charities after her daughter was diagnosed with severe allergies. She raised over a million dollars for the Santa Monica Children’s Hospital. Because of her zeal for fundraising, countless children’s lives were saved.

Lilly is predeceased by her daughter Chloe and her husband Paolo. She asked that in lieu of flowers, donations are made to the Santa Monica Children’s Hospital."

Sample two

“Amanda Jones was known by many names. A professional romance novelist, she wrote books under a half dozen pseudonyms. But no matter how successful she was, she always said her favorite name was Mom.

Amanda’s career started almost by accident. She responded to a magazine ad looking for ghostwriters to pen short stories. Her writing style caught an editor’s eye. Soon they began collaborating on a series of books. Amanda had endless ideas and often worked on several manuscripts at a time. She was so prolific, she had to take on many pen names so she wouldn’t inundate the market. What she appreciated most about her career was the flexibility it gave her. Her favorite part of the day was when her kids got home from school.

Amanda is survived by her daughters Lauren, Rebecca, and Norah. They will share plans for a Celebration of Life ceremony at a future date.”   

For a mom with many children and grandchildren

Excerpt of a sample obituary for a mother over an image of flowers

Sample one

“On October 21, 2019, Frances Hill passed away peacefully in her sleep. She was 101 years old. A lifelong Nebraskan native, Frances was well-loved in her small town. Frances was the mother of twelve children. Despite her large family Frances always made time for everyone. She always provided support and love for her family. She and her husband Richard worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for their kids. She would proudly boast about all twelve of her children graduating from high school. 

Frances was predeceased by her husband of 80 years William Hill, and by her son Richard. She is survived by her eleven surviving children, 26 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.”

Sample two

“Roberta Stevens passed away on November 1, 2019, after a brief illness. She was 56 years old. Roberta was the proud mother of 8 children. She was mother to 4 biological children. And she adopted her 4 nieces and nephews after the death of her sister Rachelle. Roberta’s greatest love was her family. And all her children were proud to call her mom.

Roberta is survived by husband Thomas, her eight children, and three great-grandchildren. They invite you to join them for a homegoing service. The service will be this Saturday at 10 am at the Mount Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church on 2468 Main St. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Cancer Society.”  

For a mom who died unexpectedly

Sample one

“On November 2, 2019, Kelly Ann Clark lost her life in a tragic car accident. She was just 26 years old.

Kelly loved children, which was a large part of why she chose to become a teacher. Helping young people discover a passion for learning was her true joy in life. Last year, she became a mother for the first time. Kelly would always say that the birth of her daughter, Stacey, was the best moment of her life.  

While Kelly’s family grieves her loss, they are choosing to remember Kelly in a way that honors her spirit. Her parents John and Sally and her husband Antonio invite the community to join them in a Celebration of Life Ceremony. It will take place at St. Ignatius Funeral Home this Sunday at 2 pm.”

Sample two

“Some people only walk this earth for a short time. Their departure reminds us that angels are watching over us. Last week, Farrah Smythe rejoined her heavenly family and gained her wings.

Farrah was a compassionate spirit whose passion was caring for others. She volunteered at a soup kitchen and worked as a nurse in free clinics. She did all this while caring for her two young daughters.

Farrah is survived by her father Jordan and daughters Charity and Faith. Her funeral will be a private ceremony for family members. Her father asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a domestic violence shelter in her memory.”

For a mom who died after a long illness

Excerpt of a sample obituary for a mother over an image of flowers

Sample one

“Eva Marie Crawford left this earthly realm on October 7, 2019, after a long battle with metastatic breast cancer. She was 46 years old.

It would be wrong to say that Eva lost her battle because she never stopped fighting. No matter how sick she was, she was always determined. When anyone else would have broken, Eva stayed strong. Through her, we know what resilience and perseverance truly look like. There was no quit in Eva. Just because she is no longer here, it doesn’t mean she lost her fight. 

Eva is survived by her husband Geoff and their daughter Matilda. They invite you to join them for a memorial service at Miller and Daughters Funeral Home on Wednesday at 7 pm. All are welcome. Her ashes will be scattered at a future date.”

Sample two

“Margaret Kent passed away on November 6, 2019, due to complications from lupus. She was 51 years old.

Margaret - or Peggy, as she was known to friends -  was a beloved member of the Fruitvale community. Peggy was the longtime Fruitvale Public Library’s Head Librarian. In this role, she interacted with almost every family in the community. She created incredible programs for her small town. Many of these programs would have been major feats in a large city. But her passion for serving led her to do monumental things with limited resources.

Though Peggy’s health was failing for years, few people knew the extent to which she struggled. Her joy for life and indomitable spirit kept her pushing through the pain.

Peggy is survived by her son Jack and granddaughter Samantha. Her family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Lupus Foundation of America.” 

For a mom who was a widow

Sample one

“Gracie Kellerman passed away on October 4th, 2019 after a brief illness. She was 84 years old.

Grace entered the workforce after being widowed at a young age. She worked as a secretary while raising her son. She played the role of mother and father in a time when that wasn’t common. Despite these struggles, she always provided a loving and warm home for her son.

Gracie never remarried after the death of her husband Wayne, who predeceased her by 55 years. She is survived by her son Bobby and her granddaughters Carrie and Diane.”

Sample two

“Marie Louise Ryerson succumbed to pneumonia on November 3rd, 2019. She was 68 years old.

Marie was a fixture in the sleepy hamlet of Devon. Known for her shop that sold new and used books, she was rarely without a book in-hand. She had an encyclopedic knowledge of her inventory. And despite having no discernible filing system could always locate the right book.

While Marie remained active in her retirement, the loss of her husband Walt last year was a blow. Her family grieves her loss, but they take comfort knowing that Walt and Marie are together again. They are survived by their daughter Jeanette, son Cody, and seven grandchildren.”  

Where Can You Post Your Mother or Grandmother’s Obituary?

Once you’ve written an obituary, you’ll need to publish it and share it with the world. There are several places where you can post an obituary - here are your best options:

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Online memorial site

Now that the internet is so prevalent, it’s easier than ever to post an obituary where anyone can see it. When creating an online memorial website, you can post an obituary, share funeral details, and more. If the family has decided to accept donations to a charity in lieu of flowers, this is a great place to post that information. 

You can also allow friends and family members of the deceased to leave condolences or share stories about their late loved ones. This will enable people worldwide to come together in their grief.

Cake has set up a service that helps people set up beautiful memorial websites in honor of their late loved ones. It’s simple and intuitive to use, making it more accessible to even the least tech-savvy people. Best of all, it’s completely free. 

Funeral home website

Many funeral homes offer an option where obituaries can be posted online on their websites. Most of the time, you can just email a copy of the obituary along with photos of the deceased. They’ll typically handle the process of uploading the obituary. 

Funeral home websites also often have an online guest book where people can express their sympathy and support. 

Newspaper

For over 250 years, newspapers have published obituaries honoring people who have passed away. Submitting an obituary to your local newspaper can help notify the community at large of a recent death. 

There is typically a cost associated with printing an obituary in a newspaper. Most newspapers that require payment for this service charge by the word. If you’re on a tight budget, consider submitting an abridged version of the obituary for publication and post the full text online. 

Social media

It can be easy for a person to miss an online obituary if they aren't close with the deceased's family. You can disseminate the completed obituary to other friends and family members if they'd like to post it on social media platforms that they frequent.

Facebook has an option to memorialize Facebook pages after someone has passed away, so people can connect by sharing memories of their loved ones. Once you've gone through the process of memorializing a Facebook page, you can post the obituary there for all of their online friends to see. 

Reflecting on Your Mother's Life

It can be hard to find the right words to pay tribute to the woman or women who raised and cared for you. But just like they tucked you in and told you bedtime stories, you have the opportunity to tell their story. Writing an obituary is the perfect way to pay tribute to someone who always did their best for you.

If you need more help planning your mother's funeral, read our guide on how to write a eulogy for Mom, funeral poems for Mom, and the best funeral songs for Mom.

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