When a person passes away, one of the first tasks their close family members need to attend to is writing an obituary.
Some obituaries take a straightforward route, resembling a resume or list of accomplishments. They highlight important information and formally honor the person who has passed.
Others have a more personal, memorable style. They showcase the person’s characteristics, relationships and legacies in addition to their accomplishments. Incorporating storytelling, humor and sentimentality, these obituaries go beyond conveying information. They celebrate the person’s life with lots of detail and offer comfort to those who are grieving.
Deciding how to sum up a life in a few paragraphs can feel daunting at first. A template can be an excellent starting point. It can guide you in the collection of information and help you begin the creative process.
Below is a range of sample obituary templates for different situations. Though they are designated for specific people, they are very much interchangeable and meant only as inspiration.
Sample obituary for a spouse/partner
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Sample obituary for a father
What hobbies was your dad passionate about? How did his charitable interests affect his community, family and friends? Try to capture how his activities and pastimes informed his life and improved the lives of those around him.
Our beloved father [full name] passed away peacefully in his home on [date of passing] at the age of [age]. He is survived by [surviving family].
He was born in [place of birth] on [date of birth]. His childhood in [place of birth] instilled a lifelong passion for [favorite hobby/activity], and he loved to speak about it with anyone who would listen. [Name] and [spouse/partner] first met and bonded over their mutual appreciation for [favorite hobby/activity] and continued to share this throughout their long and happy [marriage/relationship].
He leaves behind his children [if minors, include names and ages of surviving children; if adults, include names as first name last name]. He was preceded in death by [names and relationships of close family who have died].
The funeral will be held at [location, date and time]. All friends and family are welcome. The family asks that donations to [preferred charity or cause] be made instead of flowers or other gifts.
Sample obituary for a mother
Paint a vivid portrait of your mother by including the detail that made her so special. What were her lovable quirks? What were her best-known habits? What did she like most in the world and what did she strongly dislike?
[Full name], mother to [children’s names], passed away on [time and date of death] after a long battle with [cause of death]. Her final moments were spent peacefully in her home in [name of city], surrounded by family and close friends.
Known for her [personality trait] and [personal passion], [name] will be dearly missed by all who knew her. [Name]’s family asks that she be remembered for the joy she brought to others in life not the sadness of her passing. She is survived by [surviving close family members], her beloved [name of pet] and her collection of [name of items].
A private ceremony will be held at [funeral home name, date and time] and the family will receive friends there at [times]. Flowers and memorial gifts are welcome but not necessary.
Sample obituary for a spouse/partner
Sometimes, including information about the manner in which a person passed away can help convey their strength. Sharing with others the challenges they faced also honors their bravery.
[Full name and age], [spouse/partner] and dear friend, passed away on [date of passing]. [Name] was diagnosed with [cause of passing and date of diagnosis] and chose to keep this news within the family. Despite her immense bravery and the heroic efforts of her doctors, treatment was unsuccessful.
[Name] will be cremated at [name of funeral home]. [Name]’s [spouse/partner] is organizing a public memorial on [date of service] at [location of service] and asks that anyone with fond memories, stories or keepsakes to feel free to attend and share.
[Name] will be remembered as a tough and tireless advocate for [favorite cause/charity], whose passion for and contributions to the cause inspired many others in our community. [Spouse's name] asks anyone who is willing and able to donate their time or money to [cause/charity] to do so as a way to honor [name]. You can reach out at [contact details of cause/charity].
Sample obituary for a child
The death of a child of any age is hard. No parents envisions writing an obituary for a daughter or son. An obituary for a child can serve as a direct communication to friends and family and might include a message of gratitude for the community's support.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear [full name] on [date of passing] from [cause of passing], at the age of [age of passing]. Born on [date of birth] at [hospital or location of birth], [name] filled our lives with love from the moment [he/she/they] came into the world.
Curious and intelligent from a young age, [name] was always asking questions and open to new possibilities. [He/she/they] never lost this sense of wonder.
The [surname] family wishes to thank all those who helped us and [name] in the past few months. Your support has meant the world to us all. The funeral will be held at [location, date and time]. All friends and family are welcome and appreciated. If you’d like to send flowers, the family asks for [preferred flowers], as these were [name]’s favorites.
Read Celebration of Life Ideas for Daughters and Celebration of Life Ideas for Sons
Sample obituary for a friend
An obituary can describe the tone of the upcoming service and lay out any special expectations of attendees. Will it be a more somber funeral or a celebratory memorial? Help readers know what to expect, so they can come prepared to best support the family.
Always full of surprises, [full name] passed away suddenly on [date of passing]. Friends are invited to celebrate [name]’s life with those who knew [him/her/them] best at [location of memorial] on [date and time].
[Name]’s good humor and generous spirit touched everyone [he/she/they] met. Always ready for adventure, [name] never let life’s challenges hold [him/her/them] back, even when [he/she/they] wanted to [something most people never even attempt to do].
Ever the life of the party, [name] was always very clear a party should be held upon [his/her/their] death. In fulfillment of that wish, we invite you to send [him/her/them] off in style. Simply bring yourself and your favorite memory of [name] to share. If you’re able to attend but still want to share, contact [contact details of organizer]. [Name] would never want anyone left out.
Dignity Memorial® complimentary online obituaries
When you choose a Dignity Memorial provider, you get a range of resources to help you plan a loved one's funeral. Our professional planners guide you and your family every step of the way. Families tell us they love our complimentary online obituaries, which are posted on our dignitymemorial.com website and are shareable memorials with:
- Condolences and memories
- Photos and video galleries
- Links to grief support
- Options for sending flowers or gifts
Your Dignity Memorial funeral director can help you craft the perfect obituary for your loved one. For us, the details aren’t the little things. They’re everything.