Planning a life celebration book

How to Write an Obituary

Most obituaries follow a pattern as you will see below, but feel free to make it personal and interesting to readers. As you are writing your obituary, refer to our sample obituary page for more examples and ideas.

Sample Obituary

This will list the date, location, and sometimes the cause of death. If you do not want your cause of death listed please be certain to note this.

ALLCITY -- John A. Smith, died July 2, 1997, after a short illness.

Biographical Information
This will tell a little about the person's life, their accomplishments, education, honors, hobbies, etc.

Born August 4, 1936 in Taunton, MA he grew up and lived most of his working life in Sherborn, MA. He moved to Allcity in August, 1995. In 1967, along with his brother Calvin, he established a home mail order business baking and shipping gourmet sugar cookies. The family enterprise took its name, Hillhaven Oak Farms, Inc., from their Sherborn home of many years. Local residents joined the frenzied family on the sugar cookie team every holiday season as the house filled with shipping boxes and sugar cookie aroma pervaded the neighborhood. Under the philosophy of "Build a little, Bake a lot", the "Sugar Crispy" flourished and developed a nationwide customer base of sugar cookie fans. The next generation of Smiths has now taken over, but John's enthusiastic spirit continues.

This is basically a family tree. List your spouse, children, grandchildren, in-laws, other close relatives you wish, and close friends.

Surviving are his son, John Smith, Jr. and wife, Nancy, of Allcity; daughter, Janice Smith Thomas and husband, George; and five grandchildren, Joseph Thomas, Matt Thomas, Lucy Thomas Medlin, Timothy Thomas and Tracey Thomas Kelty, all of Sherborn. Survivor Information

This will give the time and location of any viewings, memorial services, scatterings or inurnments; or any other gathering you may choose.

The memorial services will be held at 11:00 am, Friday, July 10th at Allcity Memorial Presbyterian Church with the Reverend Paul Jorday, officiating. Scheduled Ceremonies and Gatherings of Remembrance

This will help ease the burden of phone calls to the family. The firm can give the day, the time, directions, or any other needed information for scheduled ceremonies and gatherings, or contribution information to florists or friends.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Allcity, Inc., 123 Main Street, Anywhere, USA 12345. Contributions or Flowers
Some families request that contributions be made to a meaningful organization instead of sending flowers.

Arrangements are by Allcity Cremation Provider. Arrangements

A funeral was held Wednesday in Edward L. Raisley Funeral Home in Prospect. Interment was in Unionville Cemetery.

Review our sample of a creative obituary

Are you planning a service? Consider capturing attendee's thoughts and memories on these cards:

Have you found these ideas helpful? Check out this book with everything you need to create a personalized memorial service. It is only $9.95 and will ship the same day it is ordered for quick delivery. Or download it for immediate help with planning a celebration of life.

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More Memorial Ideas

Memorial Poems | Memorial Songs | Memorial Books | Keeping their memory alive | Unique Funeral Ideas | Thoughts on Grief | Eulogies - Words to say at a funeral | Funeral thank you notes | Funeral poetry for Grandmother | Funeral poems for Mom | Funeral Bible Readings

Find interesting memorial products to personalize a life celebration.

We welcome your ideas and suggestions, please email them to us at

To find samples of obituaries from big names like Rosa Parks, Hunter S. Thompson and Arthur Miller visit The obituaries are written by Associated Press editor Jade Walker you will also find many random and interesting obituaries.

To learn more about the craft of writing an obiturary you may want to visit