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5.16: Obituary

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    Losing a loved one\(^{126}\) is a difficult process to go through but taking the time to write an obituary can help honor their life. An obituary can provide important information about your loved one, such as when they passed away and when the service takes place, but it can also paint a picture of the life they lived. After taking the time to write and revise your obituary, you can submit it to local papers so people know about how important your loved one was to you.


    1. Announce the name and time of death in the first sentence. In your opening sentence, start with their name, where they lived, and when they passed away. You don’t need to provide the cause of death if you don’t want to. Keep the sentence brief and to the point so you can expand the obituary in other places.
    2. Include a short summary of their life as the next paragraph. List the city where they were born, their parents, and important events that happened in your loved one’s life. You can either list events chronologically or you can put them in order of what you feel is the most important. Try to use as few words as possible so the obituary is concise.
    3. Add a short paragraph about hobbies, passions, or personal characteristics. Including personal details will capture the spirit of your loved one so others understand what their life was like. Create a list of hobbies or activities they actively participated in and how it affected other people.
    4. List close family members in the third paragraph. Mention close family members, such as immediate family and parents, by name. When you want to list extended family, use a collective phrase or list the specific number. For others that have passed away before your loved one, use the phrase “preceded in death by,” and use “survived by” before listing any relatives still living.
    5. Provide details about the funeral service if it’s public. If you’re holding a public service, list the time and date along with the name of the funeral home. Make sure to list the specific details so others who were close to your loved one know where to go.

    Want An Example?

    Obituary for Everett "Skip" Earl Evans\(^{127}\)

    Skip Evans passed away on December 20, 2020 at 43 years old.

    Skip was born on May 24, 1977 to Virginia and Everett Evans. He grew up in LaMoure, North Dakota attending elementary school and then moved to Wahpeton to attend middle and high school, graduating in 1995. During high school, he participated in many sports including football, basketball and baseball.

    Skip attended North Dakota State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He briefly worked in accounting before pursuing his passion of flooring design and installation as an independent contractor. Skip loved spending time with his son, Bailey, especially attending Bailey’s sporting activities and ‘throwing the ball’ around at Pelican Lake on holidays. He liked going to NDSU Bison football games with Bailey along with his family and friends.

    Skip was an avid hunter and fisherman. He enjoyed spending time with his friends and attending sporting events of his nieces and nephews. Skip is survived by his son, Bailey Evans; nieces and nephews; and family and friends that loved him very much. Skip is preceded in death by his parents, Virginia and Everett Evans.

    Interment will be at Fairview Memorial Gardens in Wahpeton, North Dakota at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Youth Works at To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Everett "Skip" Earl Evans please visit our Sympathy Store.

    \(^{126}\)Jacobson, David I and Hunter Rising. “How to Write an Obituary.” 15 Sept 21

    \(^{127}\)The author/editor of this textbook (Sybil) went to high school with Skip, and he was a good guy. She thinks he would be okay with his life being mentioned in this book, so students can learn about his life while practicing writing.

    This page titled 5.16: Obituary is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sybil Priebe (Independent Published) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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