How to Write an Obituary

Posted on October 7, 2020 by Crystal Van Orsdel under Funeral Planning
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Families who are grieving the recently deceased have a multitude of overwhelming decisions to make. An obituary must be written to honor their loved one and announce this loss to the world. It is a trying time to put something together. Van Orsdel has put together a few tips to make the writing process easier. Let’s explore each step of writing a poignant obituary.  


Announce the Basics First

The first line should provide the name of the deceased, along with a description that includes their age and the date of passing.

On June 14, 2020, Miss Gladys McGee, loving daughter and mother of nine children, passed away at the age of 77.


Provide Important Details

Announce their birth date, upbringing, education, marriage info, their life’s accomplishments and work history.

Gladys was born on March 2, 1943, in Miami, Florida, to George and Mildred Drummond. She received a law degree from Tulane University in 1968. Gladys practiced aircraft finance law for 31 years in Miami, Florida. On May 30, 1968, she married Bernard McGee. They raised nine daughters: Anais, Valentina, Sabrina, Lana, Rowena, Cecilia, Anastasia, Tulip and Brigitte.


Make It Personal

Your loved one was a special spirit. Honor their memory by letting others know what they were like. Which hobbies did they enjoy? What was their defining characteristic?

Gladys had a passion for long walks on the beach. She would often go to Hobe Sound and walk for hours, enjoying the salty air. Gladys would pack a picnic for her large family and enjoy the sunset with them. Each of her daughters admired how she balanced her fierce determination and free spirit. Her husband remembers how she always seemed ready to laugh and lend a helping hand to everyone.


Mention Family Members

Not every cousin and niece needs to be mentioned in your loved one’s obituary, but sons and daughters must be mentioned by name, living and deceased, without exception. The addition of grandchildren is a nice touch, too.

Gladys was preceded in death by her father, George, and her mother, Mildred. She is survived by her husband Bernard, her nine daughters, Anais, Valentina, Sabrina, Lana, Rowena, Cecilia, Anastasia, Tulip and Brigitte. In addition, she is survived by her beloved nieces and nephews.


Provide Information About Services

Those who want to pay their respects need the date, time and location of the funeral or whatever celebration of life service you’ve arranged. Announce whether they should send flowers, donate to the loved one’s favorite charity or just bring condolences.

A funeral service for Gladys McGee will be held on Friday, July 17, 2020, at Saint Augustin in Coral Gables at 1 p.m. Donations may be made to the Animal Services Trust Fund in her honor.

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