How To Do An Obituary For A Loved One

| Your Tribute Founder

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How To Do An ObituaryIf you want to know how to do an obituary for a loved one it is not as difficult as you may think. There are a lot of resources online Your Tribute that can help you write a beautiful obituary even if you have never written (or read) one before.

The following are the basic directions on how to layout and write an obituary:

1. The first section of the obituary is the death notice. It is critical that this is first. The death notice announces the passing of the person to their friends, family and acquaintances. In this section you will include their name, age, location, date and cause of death.

2. The following section typically includes information on the person’s life history. This begins at childhood then follows with education, career, any military service and marriage. Next, write about their hobbies, interests, accomplishments and any charity work or other organizations they belonged to.

3. Now you will want to list the relatives who preceded them in death. You should only list close relatives such as their parents, siblings, spouse or children. Next, list all of the surviving relatives including their spouse, parents, siblings and grandchildren. Nieces, nephews and other relatives are sometimes listed but often excluded to save space.

4. Next, you should include details of the funeral. If the funeral is a private event you can state this in the obituary. There may be more than one event associated with the funeral. Funeral related events could include a funeral service, wake, burial, internment, entombment, etc.

5. Finally, you can use the last section of the obituary to include a few closing words. This could be a significant phrase, poem, quote, hymn or other piece of text. You could also thank any organizations or family members that played a significant role in caring for the individual or helping with the funeral.

The following obituary example will show you how a composed obituary looks. For more detailed help on how to do an obituary for a loved one, review our other articles on obituary writing.



Shaun Andrew Martin passed away at his home in San Jose on Friday, April 6, 2012 at the age of 83.

Shaun is predeceased by his parents, Harold and Mary Martin, and his brother, Jackson Martin.

Shaun is survived by his loving wife Catharine of 48 years. They were married in Hawaii on July 25, 1966.

Shaun is lovingly remembered by his wife Catharine of San Jose; brother Mark (Chelsea) Martin of San Jose; sister Kate (James) Harris; sons Bobby and Billy Martin; and loving nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Shaun was born in La Jolla, California in 1929. He graduated from La Jolla District 20 High School in 1946 and went on to earn a Degree in Business from California University in 1953. He worked as a VP of Sales and Marketing for a large food wholesaler in San Jose.

Shaun enjoyed watching movies, bowling, sailing and spending time with his family.

The visitation will be held at Miller and Sons Funeral Home, 6653 West 14th Street, San Jose, California on April 8, 2012 at 11:00 am. Prayers will be offered from St. David’s United Church, 669 West 12th Street, San Jose, California on April 8 at 2:00 pm.

The funeral service will be held at Miller and Sons Funeral Home on April 9, 2012 at 10:30 am with Rev. Jim Young officiating. Interment to follow at MountainView Cemetery, 552 Mountain View Road, San Jose, California at 4:00 pm. A wake will take place at Jane Smith’s House on April 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Cancer Society of America, 9930 South 14th Street, Washington, DC 00000. Condolences for the family may be offered online at


Now that you have read the basic instructions on how to do an obituary for a loved one, we suggest that you read some of our other obituary articles. They will help you collect the information for the obituary and write a beautiful obituary for the one you loved.


| Your Tribute Founder

Jason Ropchan is the Founder and CEO of Your Tribute, an online resource for Funeral and Grief information and products. He has more than 15 years experience in the funeral industry developing and marketing funeral technology. He has worked with thousands of funeral homes worldwide to help them provide online memo...