Obituary Samples & Example Obituaries

This page shows two example obituaries. For more guidelines on how to write an obituary, read How to write an obituary.

Jim Schinneller's Obituary

If you've been reading our thoughts on how to handle the end of life, you probably gathered that we don't believe we need to stick with too many rules. Here is an obituary that broke the rules. It certainly was personal to those who knew Jim Schinneller and made others like us wish we had known him.

Here is an article from AP that explains:

Harry Weathersby Stamps' Obituary

When it came time to write her father's obituary, Amanda Lewis said, “I don’t understand why people do a résumé for an obituary. It never captures the spirit of the person. My dad had such a big spirit. He had such a big personality. And I didn’t think listing where he went to college and his résumé would do him justice. I liked the idea of setting it up as kind of a contrast where at first you think it’ll be a pretentious obituary — everyone’s great when they die in an obituary — and then I tried to use what would have been his sense of humor to describe my dad. And clearly it worked. I was pleased with it.”

Here it is:

Harry Weathersby Stamps

December 19, 1932 -- March 9, 2013

Long Beach

Harry Weathersby Stamps, ladies' man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler, died on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

Harry was locally sourcing his food years before chefs in California starting using cilantro and arugula (both of which he hated). For his signature bacon and tomato sandwich, he procured 100% all white Bunny Bread from Georgia, Blue Plate mayonnaise from New Orleans, Sauer's black pepper from Virginia, home grown tomatoes from outside Oxford, and Tennessee's Benton bacon from his bacon-of-the-month subscription. As a point of pride, he purported to remember every meal he had eaten in his 80 years of life.

The women in his life were numerous. He particularly fancied smart women. He loved his mom Wilma Hartzog (deceased), who with the help of her sisters and cousins in New Hebron reared Harry after his father Walter's death when Harry was 12. He worshipped his older sister Lynn Stamps Garner (deceased), a character in her own right, and her daughter Lynda Lightsey of Hattiesburg. He married his main squeeze Ann Moore, a home economics teacher, almost 50 years ago, with whom they had two girls Amanda Lewis of Dallas, and Alison of Starkville. He taught them to fish, to select a quality hammer, to love nature, and to just be thankful. He took great pride in stocking their tool boxes. One of his regrets was not seeing his girl, Hillary Clinton, elected President.

He had a life-long love affair with deviled eggs, Lane cakes, boiled peanuts, Vienna [Vi-e-na] sausages on saltines, his homemade canned fig preserves, pork chops, turnip greens, and buttermilk served in martini glasses garnished with cornbread.

He excelled at growing camellias, rebuilding houses after hurricanes, rocking, eradicating mole crickets from his front yard, composting pine needles, living within his means, outsmarting squirrels, never losing a game of competitive sickness, and reading any history book he could get his hands on. He loved to use his oversized "old man" remote control, which thankfully survived Hurricane Katrina, to flip between watching The Barefoot Contessa and anything on The History Channel. He took extreme pride in his two grandchildren Harper Lewis (8) and William Stamps Lewis (6) of Dallas for whom he would crow like a rooster on their phone calls. As a former government and sociology professor for Gulf Coast Community College, Harry was thoroughly interested in politics and religion and enjoyed watching politicians act like preachers and preachers act like politicians. He was fond of saying a phrase he coined "I am not running for political office or trying to get married" when he was "speaking the truth." He also took pride in his service during the Korean conflict, serving the rank of corporal--just like Napolean, as he would say.

Harry took fashion cues from no one. His signature every day look was all his: a plain pocketed T-shirt designed by the fashion house Fruit of the Loom, his black-label elastic waist shorts worn above the navel and sold exclusively at the Sam's on Highway 49, and a pair of old school Wallabees (who can even remember where he got those?) that were always paired with a grass-stained MSU baseball cap.

Harry traveled extensively. He only stayed in the finest quality AAA-rated campgrounds, his favorite being Indian Creek outside Cherokee, North Carolina. He always spent the extra money to upgrade to a creek view for his tent. Many years later he purchased a used pop-up camper for his family to travel in style, which spoiled his daughters for life.

He despised phonies, his 1969 Volvo (which he also loved), know-it-all Yankees, Southerners who used the words "veranda" and "porte cochere" to put on airs, eating grape leaves, Law and Order (all franchises), cats, and Martha Stewart. In reverse order. He particularly hated Day Light Saving Time, which he referred to as The Devil's Time. It is not lost on his family that he died the very day that he would have had to spring his clock forward. This can only be viewed as his final protest.

Because of his irrational fear that his family would throw him a golf-themed funeral despite his hatred for the sport, his family will hold a private, family only service free of any type of "theme." Visitation will be held at Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport on Monday, March 11, 2013 from 6-8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (Jeff Davis Campus) for their library. Harry retired as Dean there and was very proud of his friends and the faculty. He taught thousands and thousands of Mississippians during his life. The family would also like to thank the Gulfport Railroad Center dialysis staff who took great care of him and his caretaker Jameka Stribling.

Finally, the family asks that in honor of Harry that you write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Saving Time. Harry wanted everyone to get back on the Lord's Time.


Clarence McCandless's Obituary

The sample obituary below is a bit more creative than most and is interesting to read as well as giving a feel for Clarence McCandless's life.

Obituary North: Third-generation family farmer always busy on 400-acre spread
Sunday, November 14, 2004

By Alisha Hipwell

Clarence B. McCandless hated to repair machinery, but he loved just about everything else about farming -- especially riding the tractor.

"I don't think he would ever have been satisfied if he'd had to give it up altogether, he'd been farming so long," said his wife, Donna McCandless.

In Butler County, where residential and commercial development is quickly replacing the family farm, Mr. McCandless' farm in Center remains a link to the area's agricultural heritage.

Mr. McCandless, the third generation of his family to farm the same land and a member of the Butler County Farm Bureau, died Nov. 5 of complications from heart disease and diabetes at the farm. He was 73.

Mr. McCandless was born in 1931 on the farm his grandfather started.

His father, Blair McCandless, was disabled by arthritis, so Mr. McCandless learned to farm from his uncle, the late Stanley McCandless, who lived with the family. He first got on a tractor at age 7 and juggled his farm chores with his schooling.

Named the McCandless Potato Farm, the 400-acre spread, situated half in Center and half in Franklin, supplied potatoes to potato chip companies such as Troyer Farms and Frito-Lay.

The family left that business about a decade ago when the market for potatoes fell, but Mr. McCandless continued to raise beef cattle, hay, corn and oats.

"There was always something to do. There was no retirement even in the winter time," his wife said.

When Mr. McCandless did take a break from the rigors of the farm, he enjoyed attending NASCAR races with his wife.

In 1996, the family's farm was named a Century Farm by Butler County and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, a recognition given to farms owned and operated by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years.

Donna McCandless said their son, Lee McCandless, of Center, plans to take over, ensuring that a fourth generation of the family will work the land.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. McCandless is survived by three other sons, David McCandless, of the Hilliards section of Washington, Butler County, Ronny McCandless, of Fawn Grove, York County, and Robert McCandless, of Franklin, Butler County; a daughter, Darla Marks, also of Franklin; a brother, Darrell McCandless, also of Franklin; a sister, Helen Blanche Tribby, of Mesa, Ariz.; and 14 grandchildren.

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


Read more about how to write an obituary

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 is available for immediate download for only $7.50.

© Mary Hickey All Rights Reserved

You can find poems, sayings and lyrics here.

For samples of eulogies click here.

If you're looking for interesting memorial products to personalize a life celebration click here.

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