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Sample Obituary Templates

Updated on July 31, 2013

How to Write an Obituary With Our Sample Obituary Template


ewly bereaved loved ones are, at one time or another, faced with the task of writing an obituary.

In your time of grief, you need all the help you can get, especially if you have never experienced the death of someone so close or been responsible for this particular task.

When you have to take care of the business of seeing your loved one off, sometimes you may push your feelings back. Know, however, that the feelings are there. When they do surface, acknowledge them and grieve in your way.

Reduce the worry about missing vital information by using the templates in this lens. Feel free to use any of the examples you see below.

Two examples of obituaries included are the funeral obituary and the newspaper obituary. Examples of additional items you may want to include in your funeral obituary, some sample poetry, sample eulogies and also other resources are included as well.

You complete the information in our easy-to-use Sample Obituary Template and add or delete until you're satisfied with your information, print and submit it to your newspaper, funeral home or printer.

Events to Include in the Obituary

List of Events in the Lifetime of the Deceased

Take into account all of the major events of the deceased. Include the most memorable and that will determine the size of the obituary. Check the obituary for correct spelling, especially of the name, dates of birth and death and date of the service. When you are finished working on it, put the obituary down and check it over either later in the day or the next day. Allow another person to proofread as well. Avoid major mistakes because once the obituary is in print, that's it.

You will use this same information (but not necessarily all) for both the newspaper and funeral obituary.

The details of the death need to be specified:

Full name of the deceased (nicknames would usually be referenced as Gina "Gigi" Caruso, "Gigi" being the nickname)Age at death (optional - people can figure it out by referring to the dates of birth and death)City and State residing at time of deathCity and State death occurredDay of the week and date of deathCause of death (optional - some causes may be too sensitive)

The events that have taken place during the lifetime of the deceased, starting with birth, in chronological order:

Date of birthCity and State birth took placeNames of parentsNames of siblingsEducation: school, college, university and other; fraternity/sororityDesignations, awards, and other recognitionMarriage: year married, name of spouse (use your discretion if there were multiple marriages)Names of childrenEmployment / careerMajor sports or hobby related interests (ex: avid golfer, league bowler; scrap-booking club)Group affiliations, such as charitable, religious, fraternal, or politicalAchievements

List those who survived the deceased (in this order):

SpouseChildren (oldest first with spouse in parenthesis)GrandchildrenGreat-grandchildrenGreat-great-grandchildrenParentsGrandparentsSiblings (oldest first)Others, such as nieces, nephews, cousins, in-lawsIf any of these groups contain too many people to name, refer to them by "a host of nieces, nephews and cousins" or "a host of great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren."

List of relatives that pre-deceased the deceased (in this order):

SpouseChildren (oldest first)GrandchildrenSiblings (oldest first)Others, such as nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws

Give all of the details about the funeral or memorial service:

Day of the week, date, time, placeVisitation / wake information: day of the week, date, time, placeReception / repast information: day of the week, date, time, placePlace of interment (cemetery)Name of funeral home in charge of arrangementsName of officiant, pallbearers, honorary pallbearers, flower bearers (it is not necessary to include this information in newspaper obituary)

Details about the wishes of the deceased can also be included:

Memorial funds established, donation suggestions, including addressesThank you to people, groups, or institutionsQuotation or poem

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Newspaper Obituary Notice Template

        NAME, AGE OF THE DECEASED        , of          RESIDENCE        passed away / died / went to heaven)     DAY, DATE OF DEATH   , (OPTIONAL) due to / after battling / because of      CAUSE OF DEATH     .

Funeral arrangements will be held at        TIME OF FUNERAL, DAY & DATE OF FUNERAL       at           PLACE OF FUNERAL             , with       MINISTER        of           CHURCH           officiating. Visitation will be held     DAY, DATE AND TIME OF WAKE       at      NAME OF CHURCH OR FUNERAL HOME      . Burial will follow at     NAME OF CEMETARY      . Arrangements are by     FUNERAL HOME     .

       HE/SHE    was born in      PLACE OF BIRTH, DATE OF BIRTH     .       NAME        graduated from       NAME OF HIGH SCHOOL      and continued on to receive a      TYPE OF DEGREE       from     COLLEGE / TRADE SCHOOL    .

    HE/SHE     was married to     SPOUSE'S NAME      (OPTIONAL)    WEDDING DATE      .

       HE/SHE    worked as a      TYPE OF JOB HERE     for      NAME OF COMPANY    for # OF YRS WORKED.     HE/SHE     was involved in INCLUDE OPTIONAL BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION HERE.

    HE/SHE     is survived by SPOUSE, CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, PARENTS, NIECES, AND NEPHEWS (if there are too many to list, indicate "host of nieces and nephews," for example) .

    HE/SHE     is preceded in death by PEOPLE WHO PASSED AWAY BEFORE .

Memorials may be given to LOCATION TO SEND MEMORIAL . The family of      NAME      wishes to thank HOSPITAL, DOCTORS, NURSES, HOSPICE, CHURCH, ETC.

Newspaper Obituary Template

Complete a newspaper obituary template online and print. (If you click submit you will not receive a completed form.)

Download a Newspaper Obituary Template to Your Computer

For your convenience, download this template to your computer and complete the fields in the form:

  • Newspaper Obituary Notice Template

Place a Newspaper Obituary

Get more information on how to place a newspaper obituary in one of more than 800 leading U. S. newspapers using this resource. Find your newspaper by selecting the appropriate state.

Funeral Home Directory

        Use this resource to find a funeral home in your area.

Page 1 of Obituary
Page 1 of Obituary

Page 1 of the Funeral Obituary

A large photo is often shown on the first page of the obituary.

Some samples of title wording are as follows:

  • Celebration of Life

  • In Honor of Your Life

  • A Homegoing Celebration

  • In Loving Memory

  • Going Home Celebration for

  • Forever With the Lord

The following items of information are included on page 1 of the obituary:


Name of Loved One

January 1, 1950 - October 10, 2009

Our Lady of Peace Methodist Church

Funeral Street Address

Funeral City, State and Zip

Rev. Timothy Carter, Officiating

Download this Funeral Obituary - Pages 1 and 4, save to your computer and edit it as necessary, then print.

Description of the life of the loved one is written inside the obituary on page 2. Follow the list indicated above to write about the important points and include a few more photos if you choose.

Make it easier by downloading this Funeral Obituary - Pages 2 and 3 to edit, print and save to your computer.

Add pages with more biographical information, poetry, and pages of pictures or picture collages if you desire.

Free Funeral Poems

I'm Free

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free

I'm following the path God has laid you see.

I took His hand when I heard him call

I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day

To laugh, to love, to work, to play.

Tasks left undone must stay that way

I found that peace at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void

Then fill it with remembered joy.

A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss

Oh yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow

I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.

My life's been full, I savored much

Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief

Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.

Lift up your hearts and peace to thee

God wanted me now; He set me free.


One night I dreamed I was walking

Along the beach with the Lord,

Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

Sometimes there were two sets of footprints.

Other times there was only one.

This bothered me because I noticed

During the low periods of my life when I was

Suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,

I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord, "You promised me,

Lord, that if I followed you,

You would walk with me always.

But I noticed during the most trying periods

Of my life there has only been

One set of prints in the sand.

Why, when I needed you most,

Have you not been there for me?

The Lord replied,

"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints

It was then that I carried you."

God's Garden

God looked around his garden

And found an empty place,

He then looked down upon the earth

And saw your tired face.

He put his arms around you

And lifted you to rest.

God's garden must be beautiful

He always takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering

He knew you were in pain.

He knew that you would never

Get well on earth again.

He saw the road was getting rough

And the hills were hard to climb.

So he closed your weary eyelids

And whispered, 'Peace be thine'.

It broke our hearts to lose you

But you didn't go alone,

For part of us went with you

The day God called you home.

~ Anon

My Adam

~ by Tracy Lamont

I walked away that morning, without a backward glance,

I didn't know that moment was going to be our last.

The last time I would hold you or see your lovely face,

The last time I would kiss you and feel your strong embrace.

So solid and so real,so vibrant and alive,

A happy face with twinkling eyes, my fine young man, my child.

My first-born son, my Adam, the apple of my eye,

so cruelly taken from me, I never said goodbye.

The shattered remnant of my heart is strangely beating still,

with holes so black and fathomless no light could ever fill.

I don't know how I face each day without my darling boy.

Gone is all the happiness, the love of life, the joy.

The years stretch on before me, so bleak and dark and long,

I pray you walk beside me, son, and help to keep me strong.

And when my life is over, come to me on that day,

and smile at me and hold me tight and carry me away.

the wind that whispers through the trees, the brightest star at night,

a rainbow on a dismal day, a shaft of golden light,

All these are signs you send to me, a message from above,

that even death can't break the bonds of Son and Mother Love...


When I come to the end of the road

And the sun has set for me

I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little--but not too long

And not with your head bowed low.

Remember the love that we once shared

Miss me--but let me go.

For this is a journey that we all must take

And each must go alone. It's all a part of the Master's plan

A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart

Go to the friends we know

And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.

Miss Me - But Let me Go!

~ Author Unknown

Until We Meet Again

~ by Unknown

Each morning when we awake

we know that you are gone.

And no one knows the heartache

As we try to carry on.

Our hearts still ache with sadness

and many tears still flow.

What it meant to lose you,

No one will ever know.

Our thoughts are always with you,

your place no one can fill.

In life we loved you dearly,

In death we love you still.

There will always be a heartache,

and often a silent tear,

But always a precious memory

Of the days when you were here.

If tears could make a staircase,

And heartaches make a lane,

We'd walk the path to heaven

And bring you home again.

We hold you close within our hearts,

And there you will remain,

To walk with us throughout our lives

Until we meet again.

Our family chain is broken now,

And nothing will be the same,

But as God calls us one by one,

The chain will link again.

Perhaps they are not

stars in the sky,

but rather openings

where our loved ones

shine down

to let us know they

are happy.

Our joys will be greater

Our love will be deeper

Our lives will be fuller

Because we shared your moment

The White Chariot

During your journey on your final flight home.

White wings will carry you and you will be flown.

To the pearly gates of Heaven, where they will usher you in.

To the feet of your Lord, your Saviour, and your friend.

He will hold you in his arms and the angels will sing.

As another one of His children is delivered by white wings.

~ Author: Julie Johnson


'Say not in grief he is no more but live in thankfulness that he was'

~ Hebrew proverb

Coping with Death on Video

Make a Record of Your Personal History

Download this Personal Family History and let your family know some of the things you would to be noted for on your obituary.

Personal Family History

Name: ________________________________________________________________

Date of birth: ___________________________________________________________

Place of birth: __________________________________________________________

Mother's name: _________________________________________________________

Mother's birthplace: ______________________________________________________

Father's name: __________________________________________________________

Father's birthplace: _______________________________________________________

Marital Status:         ___ single       ___ married       ___ widowed       ___ divorced

Spouse's name: __________________________________________________________

Date of marriage: _________________________________________________________

Place of marriage: ________________________________________________________

Children's names and years of birth: __________________________________________



Brothers and sisters: ______________________________________________________




Occupation and employment: ________________________________________________





Education (school, year, degree) _____________________________________________




Military service (years and rank) ______________________________________________




Organizations and memberships _____________________________________________




Awards, honors, special achievements ________________________________________






Other information _________________________________________________________





Write your own Obituary

It may seem morbid to write your own obituary, but this is the best way to make certain that people know your accomplishments and events for which you want to be remembered.

In addition, choose your favorite photo(s) to include within the pages celebrating your life.

It is inevitable that we will all pass away. Help your family cope and make things easier on them by pre-planning and making them aware of the things you've been pro-active with.

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    Post Comment

    • dhreyn profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @LeonRusselman: I appreciate your comments Leon. Unfortunately this is the type of event that is guaranteed for all of us. If you're a planner, writing your own obituary might be a good idea, and you get to say what you want others to know!

    • LeonRusselman profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for planting the seed in my mind -that it might be a good idea to write my own obit. I hadn't thought of it. Why leave it to others? It will be short and to the point.

      Thanks for the great amount of information.


    • dhreyn profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: I appreciate it Vic.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for your excellent work. It's good to have a template when faced with writing an obit -it's usually under extenuating circumstances. Your templates will make it much easier.

      And, if I decide someday to write one for myself -it'll be a piece of cake. :)

      Vic Doke

      Burial Insurance Advice dot com

    • dhreyn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @gogolf162: Thank you for visiting my lens, Jim. I wrote this lens after being faced with writing an obituary for a family member - so, it's one of those necessary things we have to deal with and, hopefully, this lens will provide some helpful resources. I enjoyed your lenses about golf and ESPECIALLY the one about playing golf for free!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nice. I hope I will not be needing one of these too soon.


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