How To: Write an Obituary Notice

Taking memorials online are quickly growing in popularity. Therefore how do you write an Obituary in today’s digital age? They have been, and continue to be, a very important part of how families announce and communicate the news of the passing of a Loved One. 

Obituaries are also known as death notices and funeral notices.

They also give valuable funeral service information as the community come together and prepares to honour their Loved One.

Traditionally Obituaries were in the local paper.

Here is an example of how to write an Obituary:

SMITH, Peter Andrew (Pete), 07 April 1940 – 25 June 2004. (peacefully/suddenly) at…… aged ……passed away surrounded by family at home in Auckland.

Dearly loved husband and best friend of …….  Loved father and father in law of …….  Loved and cherished grandfather of ……

(other people you may wish to consider – son and son in law of, brother and brother in law of, uncle of…..)

Friends are invited to attend a funeral service for Pete at New Zealand Funeral Home on Tuesday 29th June 2004 at 11 am.

Followed by (private cremation/followed by burial at the …… Cemetery).

Returning from the cemetery, all are welcome to join the family at home for a gathering to celebrate Pete’s life.

EXAMPLE OBITUARY – Joyce Mary Labrum (Copeland)

07 April 1940 – 25 June 2004 (aged 64 years)

Passed away peacefully surrounded by family at home in Kerikeri. A courageous battle to the end.

For more details:

While the contents of an Obituary will vary depending on the age and personality of a Loved One, the base of a notice remains the same. Writing an Obituary is a task that requires dignity, tact and grace. It also serves as a celebration of the life led as well as their family, achievement, and passions

  1. Public Announcement

    Full name
    Date of birth
    Date of Passing
    Nick name
    Maiden name
    Former names

    Example:
    LABRUM (nee Copeland, formerly Parker), Joyce Mary (Joycey)
    07 April 1940 – 25 June 2004

    Supporting words:
    It is with great sadness that we advice…
    Passed away peacefully….
    Went to heaven on…

  2. Acknowledgement of the Loved One’s family

    Names of spouse, children, grandchildren

    Example words to support the family names:
    Cherished, loved, much loved, dearly loved, devoted, adored, beloved, most precious…..

  3. Biography for your Loved One

    Mini biography featuring…
    Major life events
    Achievements of note
    Contributions and causes
    Profession or trade
    The lives they have touched

    Example:
    Along with being devoted to her family, Joyce was an avid gardener, keen golfer and proud member of the Kerikeri Golf Club. Travelling from North Wales to live in New Zealand illustrated her pioneering spirit.

  4. Service Information

    Date, time and address of funeral service
    Location of the funeral service
    Name of the funeral home

    Example:
    Tuesday 29th June 2004 at 2pm
    Fantail Room
    New Zealand Funeral Home
    1 Queen Street,
    Kerikeri

  5. Special Requests

    If service is private
    if application, date and time of visitation
    Particular cause they were partial to

    Example:
    All are welcome to join the family at their home to celebrate Joyce’s Life
    In lieu of flowers, a donation link to….

  6. Words of comfort

    Anything that represents how you feel
    A quote
    A poem
    Anecdotes


    Example:
    “She will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts”
    “Gone too soon, always in our hearts”
    “Rest in peace”
    “(name) will be remembered forever”

Some parting thoughts:

Include whatever you need to propertly reflect the type of life your Loved One led and the impact they had on those around them.

A well-written Obituary from the heart, ensures that memories of our Loved One will live forever.

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