Tips For Preparing An Obituary

Writing an Obituary with Care and Thought

A published obituary in your local newspaper serves more than one purpose.  This brief but meaningful article is the family’s opportunity to not only notify the community and share important details concerning the service but to also commemorate the deeds and life of the deceased in a traditional manner. For many families, the director of your chosen Orlando funeral home can assist you with creating a respectable obituary. Most funeral homes in Orlando will publish an obituary for you both in the newspaper and online where the report can be easily found.

A traditional and effective obituary will usually consist of 4 parts:


Your notice should begin with the full name (including a nickname is acceptable), place of residency, the date of death, and age of the deceased. It is not uncommon to include a recent photograph, and some families will choose to also share a younger picture especially for someone who is elderly. Specifying the exact cause of death is not at all necessary, although it is not unusual to sometimes see obituaries that mention illness or accident.

Newspapers and Orlando funeral homes often post full-length obituaries in addition to abbreviated notices. Many readers of the newspaper regularly scan these abbreviated obituaries for familiar names.

An example of an abbreviated obituary:

Doe, Jane Mary, age 70. Died Monday, July 1. Services by Baldwin Brothers Funeral and Cremation Society.”

For the full-length obituary, most people feel that simply writing “died” sounds too insensitive. However, choosing words that are overly dramatic or verbose can seem equally in poor taste. A funeral professional at your Orlando funeral home can help you with the appropriate lines if you have trouble finding the right phrase.  

Biographical Sketch

Your obituary should continue with a brief chronological story that outlines the life and achievements of the deceased. Include birth parents, major milestones, hobbies, education and career points. This section should include a positive framing of your loved one’s life, and you may share whatever details you feel adequately reflects and endears the personality and vivacity of what has been lost.

Surviving Family

Immediate family (usually parents, siblings, or spouse) that have already passed away should be mentioned before listing the surviving family members. The count of the surviving family usually begins with spouse, children, and siblings, and continues on with grandchildren and any further generations there may be. Remember that the obituary is a personal reflection and not a legal record. If it seems appropriate to include a close friend or family that is not technically a blood relation, you may do so.

Scheduled Services

Most importantly, you must include the date, time, and location of the Orlando funeral home where services are being held.  If you are choosing a private ceremony and prefer visitation at a particular time, you may specify so. Many families traditionally request memorial donations in lieu of flowers and will include a suggested donation at this point. 

Seek Help and Check for Errors

Do not neglect to ask for assistance from other family members or from the staff at any funeral home in Orlando to ensure your obituary is properly formed. Double check spelling and also confirm dates, names, and other details with any help possible. When done correctly, the obituary is a simple and necessary yet clearly meaningful tribute for those who have passed away.