Obituaries Format Guide

| Your Tribute Founder

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Obituaries FormatIt is important when writing an obituary to include the appropriate information. An obituaries format guide is a good starting point for structuring and writing a memorable obituary. Using the guide below will make sure that you don’t omit any important information.

We recommend printing the guide below. Next, you may need to contact other family members to help you gather the relevant information. We suggest that you collect as much data as possible and then decide what to include.

The obituaries format guide below is in the order of most standard obituaries. Not all of the sections are required; however, the announcement of death (the first 8 steps) is mandatory.

For more information on what to include and not to, we suggest you read our other obituary articles.


Name: ______________________________
[Include first name, middle name, nickname, last name and suffix (Jr., Sr., M.D., etc.)]

Age: ______________________________

Address: ______________________________
[Location at time of death. City is required. State is optional.]

Place of Death: ______________________________
[Optional. I.E. “Hospice”, “Hospital”, “At Home”, etc.]

Cause of Death: ______________________________
[Optional. I.E. “After a long battle with cancer”, “passed away in his/her sleep”, etc.]

Date of Death: ______________________________
[Include the day of week, month, date and year. Time is optional.]

Date of Birth: ______________________________
[Month, Date, Year]

Place of Birth: ______________________________
[City, State]

Parents: ______________________________
[Mother and Father First Names and Last Name]

Education: ______________________________
[High School name, graduation year, post-secondary school name(s), degree(s)/certificate(s) obtained]

Military Information: ______________________________

Marriage: ______________________________
[Name of spouse, date and location of wedding.]

Career: ______________________________
[Most recent job and position held.]

Hobbies: ______________________________
[Include hobbies, clubs, associations, activities, etc.]

Survivors: ______________________________
[Include the first and last name, relation and location of survivors. If there are too many to list you can simply write “nieces and nephews” or “grandchildren”.]

Predeceased By: ______________________________
[Include the first and last name and location of any family who have already passed away.]

Funeral Service: ______________________________
[Day, month, time, year, location, clergy, burial, reception, wake, entombment/inurnment, etc.]

Visitation: ______________________________
[Day, month, year, time, location.]

Donations: ______________________________
[Name and mailing address of where you would like any donations sent.]

Closing Words: ______________________________
[Any thank you’s and a verse, hymn, quote or other significant phrase.]



Martin William Smith passed away at his home in Seattle on Friday, April 13, 2012 at the age of 62.

Martin is predeceased by his parents, Robert and Joan Smith, and his brother, Mike Smith.

Martin is survived by his loving wife Jen of 37 years. They were married in Hawaii on June 20, 1980.

Martin is lovingly remembered by his wife Jen of Seattle; brother Matt (Candace) Smith of Seattle; sister Sheila (Jon) Jones; sons Bob and Jamie Smith; and loving nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Martin was born in Arlington, WA in 1950. He graduated from Arlington High School in 1957 and went on to earn a Degree in Business from Seattle College in 1972. He worked as an Operations Manager at IBM.

Martin enjoyed sports, especially baseball, as well as reading, hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.

The visitation will be held at Martin Family Funeral Home, 595 West 21st Street, Seattle, WA on April 15, 2012 at 11:00 am. Prayers will be offered from St. John’s United Church, 543 15th Street, Seattle, WA on April 15 at 4:00 pm.

The funeral service will be held at Martin Family Funeral Home, 595 West 21st Street, Seattle, WA on April 16, 2012 at 11:00 am with Rev. Joshua James officiating. Interment to follow at Mountain View Cemetery, 4445 Mountain Lane, Seattle, WA at 4:00 pm. A wake will take place at Jen Smith’s House on April 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. John’s United Church, 943 East 15th Street, Seattle, WA 00000.


The obituaries format guide above provides you with a comprehensive list for collecting data for an obituary. After you collect the necessary information, you should be able to write an obituary like the sample above. For more help, we recommend that you view our other obituary templates and obit writing guides.


| 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...