Writing A Newspaper Obituary
If you plan on announcing the death of a family member in your local newspaper, there are some general information you should note before initiating this task. You will need to write a short obituary notice in the local paper due to space limitation but you can provide a lengthier version within the funeral programs.
Check with your funeral director or funeral home that you are working with to see if they have information on submitting obituaries to the print media. For an additional fee, some funeral homes may provide an obituary listing included within the funeral package. You may want to read the obituary section of a newspaper to get an idea of how its generally written or view our sample obituary notice.
Also most information printed in a newspaper is short and to the point. There are not a lot of details but note only the main points of the life of the deceased. Also refer to our page on "The Funeral Obituary" for a good introduction to obituaries. You may want to keep your budget in mind prior to writing an obituary for print.
Check with the newspaper and find out what you are allotted in word count. Then based on the information they give you, set your budget making sure you stay within the limited amount of words. Use an application like Microsoft Word to determine how many words are in your document. Make note of the when you want the obituary to appear and meet the submission deadline.
Generally, obituary notices are printed a week prior to the funeral service. You may be able to submit your obituary via email for faster delivery to the editor. If you want to include a photo with your obituary, check with the newspaper for pricing. Most newspapers today, offer online obituary notices as well for an additional fee. Newspapers are known to publish public and celebrity figures at no charge.
A sample newspaper obituary template may read like the following: The name of the deceased, their age, place of residence, date of death, and if you desire, you can state the cause of death, but its not necessary. Note when and where they were born, the school they attended and if they received any degrees from a particular school or university. State who they were married to and the date, if desired.
Next, you can include their employment history, accomplishments, organizations, and activities involved in. Indicate who they were survived by and note the names of all the surviving family members.
Lastly, state information about the funeral arrangements and when it will be held and the time. You may also note any information regarding donations.