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Writing an Obituary


Customary information includes:

Full legal name of the deceased (nickname may be included in parenthesis) 

City or town of residence. To avoid having the residence robbed while the family is attending the calling hours and funeral, specific information about the residence of the deceased and relatives should never be published.


Relative list including: 

  • Predeceased list (relatives who have died) 
  • Survived by list (relatives that are still alive) 
  • Parents 
  • Sons
  • Daughters 
  • Grandchildren 
  • Great Grandchildren 
  • Sisters 
  • Brothers 
  • Work history 
  • Place and time of the funeral and any calling hours 
  • Place of burial 


Optional information could include:

  • Special interests such as hobbies 
  • Associations (such as membership in local or national organizations. 
  • Special Affiliations (such as volunteer work for the A.S.P.C.A., etc.) 
  • Military service

Obituaries can be written at the time of death or before. Many people find it helpful to write their own obituary notice in advance for the following reasons:

The surviving family members might not remember, or may struggle to remember, specific dates (birth, employment, retirement, previous deaths). 

They might not know proper spellings of people's names, places, companies or organizations.

They might not know all of the deceased's memberships to volunteer organizations and community clubs. 

The self-written obit could specify a favorite charity for donations that the surviving family wouldn't have thought of.


Sample Obituary

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Doe, Jane
Rochester- January 1, 2002

Jane was born September 15, 1927. She was the daughter of William A. and Blanch (Smith) Jones. Jane is survived by two children, Janelle (James) Lockhart of Newport, VA, and Corey (Cheryl) Doe of Buffalo, NY, a brother Ward (Cynthia) Jones, of Rochester, a sister Jill (Robert) Riley of Greece and several grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, her husband Jack Doe and a sister, Amanda Jones.

Jane was a RN and retired from Strong Memorial Hospital in 1990. She was also a member of the Eastern Star, Daughters of the American Revolution, and was president of the Greater Rochester Rose Association.

Visitation will be at the Walter Scott Skupny Funeral Home, 28605 Gratiot 2 blocks south of 12 Mile Rd, Roseville on Monday January 3 from 7 to 9pm. The funeral service will be at 10:00 am on Wednesday at the Funeral Home. Burial will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery. Share memories with the family at their "On-Line Guest Book" at http://www.mypreneed.com/

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