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For many people writing an obituary or eulogy can be a daunting task. The combination of the grief over a loved one’s death and the pressure to honor them can be difficult to overcome. For many people, a template or obituary sample can be a helpful aid in getting over one’s writer’s block or the fear of a blank page. Often times the funeral director will also assist in the obituary writing process if you ask them. You should also be cognizant of the length if you plan on publishing it in a physical newspaper, as they will likely charge by word or character. For reference, the obituary sample below has 234 words and 1,322 characters. You can use our step-by-step template below by inserting your loved one’s information to get a start writing their obituary or use it as a general structure to create your own from scratch.
Keep in mind that the templates can be flexible depending on how long or short you would like your obituary to be. Obituaries on Obitia, through our Tribute Page creator, are free and can be of unlimited length. For more information on how to write an obituary from the heart please read “How to Write an Obituary: Make it a Celebration of Life“.
[Full Name of deceased], [age in years], passed [date of death] at [place of death, i.e. “home”] [reason for death, may be ommited].
They “leave their” or “survived by” or “preceded in death by” [spouse, partner] of [length of relationship], [name of spouse]; their [son, daughter, or child], [name of child]; …*
Born in [date of birth] in [place of birth]. [Insert things done in childhood, such as high school attended, sports played, or other noteworthy childhood hobbies or jobs]. [Add college, community college, or military service and any noteworthy stories or accolades attained while in attendace].
After [high school, college, military, et cetera] [First name] [work or career].
[First name] had a passion for [hobby, belief, faith, charitable work, other]. [Follow with a short story about said passion or award or accolade attained]. **
A funeral service or memorial service was/will be held on [date of service] at [place of service] [followed by a private/public burial] at [name of the cemetery].***
Please send flowers to [place flowers should be sent]. Or In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to [charity or church] in [name of deceased]‘s name.****
*Continue for all children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or friends to be mentioned.
**Repeat this format for as many hobbies or things of importance to the deceased as needed.
***This section may be in past or future tense depending on the timing of the obituaries publishing. Make sure to include a specific time for the funeral or memorial if you want people reading the obituary to be able to attend.
****This section can be omitted completely if you wish.
Sample Obituary (Using the above Template)
Madison — John Scott Smith, 82, died Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at the Mercy General Hospital in Washington following a brief illness.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary (Swanson) Smith; his daughter, Angela (Smith) Black and her husband, Daniel Black; two grandchildren; and many close friends.
Born and raised in Madison, the son of James and Paula (Bishop) Smith, he was a lifelong resident of Madison.
As a child, Mr. Smith was a Boyscout. After graduating from Monroe High School in 1956, he attended Adams University, graduating in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He met his wife, Mary (Swanson) Smith, at church and they were married in 1961 at St. Xavier Catholic Church.
After college, Mr. Smith had the opportunity to join the Acme Company in Madison where he rose to Vice President. In 1972, he started the Smith Consulting Agency, where he worked as a managing partner until his retirement in 2006. Mr. Smith was known as a hard worker and a good man both in and out of work.
Mr. Smith had a passion for tennis as was a member of the Knox Tennis Club, where he won several men’s double club championships.
A memorial service will be held on February 2 at St. Xavier Catholic Church, with private burial.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Humane Society of Madison in John’s name.