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A Step-by-Step Guide on Writing an Obituary

Published: December 12, 2022
by John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Home

funeral homes in Arnold, MO

Writing an obituary can be daunting. It’s an exercise that requires a clear mind, which can be challenging when you’re mourning. And while funeral homes in Arnold, MO, can always write one for you, many people prefer to compose the words of remembrance themselves.

To help you do that, here’s a short guide on how to write an excellent obituary.

Collect The Key Facts

On a basic level, an obituary is a compilation of specific biographical facts about the deceased person. That is name, birthplace, age, location, cause of death (optional), and date of birth. Other facts worth adding include marriage information, career history, and achievements.

This collection of facts comes after a standard sentence announcing the passing. They provide a necessary context for the identity of the deceased in the obituary.

Describe The Person

By weaving in the collected facts in short sentences, paint a picture of the deceased’s life. This section includes their personality, career achievements, passions, and contributions to their community.

Essentially, here is where you answer the questions: how would they want to be remembered, and how will those who knew them remember them?

Whatever tone you choose to strike while describing the person’s life is up to you. It’s okay if you want a more serious and traditional obituary that cuts straight to the point. But a bit of humor and playfulness is fine too.

There’s no “right” way to write an obituary. The tone and style you use is up to you.

Include Surviving Family Members

A good obituary strikes a balance between the traditional and unconventional. In service of the former, include a section of the surviving family members and those whose death preceded your loved one’s.

This doesn’t mean you have to list every family member by name. Focus on listing important or closest relatives by name while you mention other members by title or group.

Sample: “His death was preceded by his father, Robert, and his mother, Janet. James was survived by his wife, Jessica; his three children: Charles, Lisa, David, and three grandchildren; his sister, Alice; two nieces and a nephew.”

Share Funeral Information

funeral homes in Arnold, MO

To wrap up, provide the necessary information for those who wish to attend the funeral. This includes the date, time, and location of the service.

You can also include additional information that may be useful to those who want to pay their respects to the deceased. That includes dress code, donations, or flower preference.

This is the standard structure of an obituary, and it can be as long or short as you want it to be. But remember, local newspapers charge per line, word, or inch. Do your best to squeeze enough words in to fit your budget.

Also, don’t hesitate to share your draft obituary with family members and close friends for different perspectives. Doing so can help you pick out mistakes.

Contact us if you need a funeral home in Arnold, MO, to help you write one and other aspects of the funeral. We understand this is a difficult time for you, and our team is here to lighten your burden.

 
John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Homes South County Chapel
|
4830 Lemay Ferry Rd
| Saint Louis, MO 63129
|
Tel: 314-894-8444
| Directions
John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Homes South City Chapel
|
7027 Gravois Ave
| Saint Louis, MO 63116
|
Tel: 314-352-2600
| Directions
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