How to Write an Obituary

We recommend that our families prepare their obituary and submit it to us for publication via email. Below are some examples to help you.


An obituary notice can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish.  It can include everything we have listed below, as well as an overview of your loved ones life, their passions and accomplishments.  While there are costs involved in publishing an obituary, we can help you with newspapers locally, nationally, and internationally.  Or, you can utilize our On-Line Obituary page which is at no cost to the families we serve.  There you will have unlimited verbiage space, can upload any photos or videos, as well as driving directions for services. With our On-Line Obituary page you will also have the opportunity to order flowers or gifts. An obituary is a tribute to your loved one’s life and is an opportunity to share a loved one’s memory with family, friends, and the community. The anecdotes you share will provide family and friends with a keepsake of memories. Also, an obituary serves an announcement of your loved one’s death to their professional and military communities, clubs, and charity organizations.Obituaries also provide your family and friends with the information they need to pay their respects, such as the location of services and/or where to send sympathy gifts, flowers, or donations.

The contents of an obituary will vary depending on length. They include some or all of the following:

Announcement of Death

  • Your loved one's full name and nicknames if any
  • Age at Death
  • City of residence
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death (optional)

Details of Life and Personality - When gathering this information, include your loved ones passions and accomplishments.

  • Date and place of birth (optional)
  • Names of parents
  • Schools, friends, siblings
  • Education - High school, college, vocational
  • Military Service
  • Marriage or significant other
  • Children
  • Profession
  • Awards and recognition
  • Places of residency
  • Hobbies, sports, interests, recreation, activities enjoyed, affiliations and organizations

Survivors Listed by Kinship -  You may also want to list family members who are pre-deceased, (optional).

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Pets if appropriate


  • Date, time and place of service
  • Visitation information if applicable
  • Reception information
  • Name of Mortuary and phone number


  • Where to send flowers, sympathy cards, and donations
  • Short quotation, poem, or lyric that represents your loved one's personality or beliefs
  • A photograph of your loved one (additional fee, please ask for quote)
  • If the death was a long process, consider thanking individuals, groups, neighbors, or institutions who helped at time of death. Also, remember those who helped during their life such as great teachers or friends. A simple thank you card to these people is also always appreciated.

Sample Obituaries

The following are three fictitious examples for Obituary formats:

Jasko, William Blake

It is with great sadness that the family of William Blake Jasko announces his passing after a brief illness, on Saturday, April 3, 2002, at the age of 70 years.

Bill will be loving remembered by his wife of 50 years, Ann and his children, Mike (Judy), Brad (Jill), Sue (Dan) Armandeau, and Ryan (Heidi). Bill will also be fondly remembered by his eight grandchildren, Brandy, Kala, Jack, Phillip, Jonah, Mackenzie, Paul, Austin, by his sisters, Ann (Joe) Kispinski, Eileen Rudolph and sister-in-law Anne Jasko. Bill was predeceased by his brother Anton Jasko.

A Funeral Service in Memory of Bill will be held on Thursday, April 7, at 1:00 P.M., at the Sherwood Park Presbyterian Church, 265 Fir Street, Sherwood Park, with Reverend Glenn Ball officiating. Interment will follow in the family plot at South Haven Cemetery.

Those who so desire may make Memorial Donations in memory of Bill to the (name and mailing address of Foundation/Society).

Keen, Andrea (nee Goreman)

On Monday, February 3, 2001 Andrea Keen wife, mother, daughter, and sister passed away suddenly at the age of 36 years. Andrea will be forever remembered by her husband and best friend Greg and their precious children, Cody and Pamela. By her parents Jack and Ann Goreman, her brothers and sisters, Andrew (Jill), Ken (Hope), Kim (Justin) Halow, and Tianna (Wade) O'Halen. Andrea will also be forever by her numerous nieces, nephews and extended family and dear friends.

A Prayer Service will be held on Thursday, February 6, at 7:00 P.M., at Andrews-McLaughlin St. Albert Chapel, 9 Muir Street, St. Alberta.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in memory of Andrea on Friday, February 7, at 10:00 A.M., at Holy Family Catholic Church, St. Albert., with Father Shayne Craig presiding.

Memorial Donations in memory of Andrea may be made to (name and mailing address of Foundation/Society).

Wallace, Colin "Sage"

Colin Wallace "Sage" as his friends knew him, passed away on September 4, 2000, at the age of 78 years.

A native of Mornville, "Sage" attended the University of Alberta and graduate from law and practiced in the St. Alberta area, prior to receiving his appointment to the Alberta Supreme Court.

In 1949, he began his law career with Scdinler and Louch where he was to spend his entire time in private practice. In 1958 he was appointed Crown Prosecutor. And in 1962 was appointed Justice of Family Court, where he served until 1967 when he was appointed to the Alberta Supreme Court.

"Sage" served on the boards of numerous foundations, as well as the 1975 Commonwealth Games, Parkinson Research Foundation, and he chaired the Alberta Toastmasters for 3 years.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Mary (nee: Brodeur), sons, Colin, Jr. and Adam; ten grandchildren; and one great grandchild.

A Celebration of "Sages" life will be held on Monday, September 7, at 9 A.M. at the Andrews-McLaughlin Funeral Home, 10011 - 114 Street, Edmonton, with Reverend Jack O'Grady officiating.

Memorial Donations in memory of "Sage" can be made to (name and mailing address of Foundation/Society).

Things to Consider when Printing an Obituary in the Newspaper

  • We recommend never listing the address of a private home in the newspaper.
  • If costs are a concern, our families have the option of submitting a brief obituary notice in the newspaper that will direct readers to our online website where a complete obituary and photographs are posted.
  • Time the obituary to run a few days before services . Know the publication’s daily deadline so you know the obituary will run when you want it too.
  • Read some of the other obituaries printed by your selected publication to get an idea of what their obituaries generally read like. This will prevent the publication from making their own revisions to your loved one’s obituary.
  • Request a final proof from the publication to be confirmed before printing.
  • Always proof read for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Also, have a friend or family member proof the obituary to limit the chance of errors.
  • Consider submitting the obituary to other publications where your loved may have lived previously.  

If you find yourself struggling with writing a love one’s obituary, please feel free to call us and our experienced staff will be more than willing to assist you (559) 635-1144.