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What Should I Include in My Loved One's Obituary? July 19, 2019

Canandaigua, Ontario
What Should I Include in My Loved One's Obituary?, Canandaigua, New York

When a loved one passes away, it can be difficult to write a formal piece for publication. Still, the obituary is an essential part of the funeral planning process, as it will alert others of your relative’s passing and invite them to the service. If you’ve been tasked with writing this piece, use the following guide to get started.

5 Items to Include in an Obituary 

1. Announcement

At the beginning of the obituary, start by alerting readers to the most important information—the news that your loved one has passed. If an old friend or distant relative is reading, you’ll want to help them verify their connection to the individual by stating their name, age, where they live, and when they passed away. Unless you wish to do so, there is no need to explain the cause of death in this piece.

2. Short Biography

Then, briefly describe the life of your loved one, and focus on whichever areas you believe were most important to them. For example, if they dedicated a large portion of their time to a charity, discuss that interest and their contributions. If they also spoke fondly of childhood memories, include more details of their early life in this section. Other key information might include military service, education, and career.

3. Family

Next, speak about your loved one’s immediate family and closest friends, which may include yourself. Mention their spouse or significant other, their children, grandparents, siblings, and close cousins. 

4. Service

funeralOnce you’ve established the background information, it’s time to include the main message of the obituary: inviting people to the funeral or memorial service. If it’s public, don’t forget to add the date, location, and time, as well as suggested attire, if different from the traditional all-black.

5. Closing Message

Finally, leave the readers with any information that may be specific to your loved one’s passing, such as the wish for family and friends to donate to a charity instead of bringing flowers. Or, you may want to offer thanks or acknowledgments to the hospital or hospice center who took care of your loved one before their passing. Some people even choose to end an obituary with a heartfelt quote or scripture.



If you’re planning a funeral for a relative or close friend, you don’t have to do it alone. Let the compassionate team at Johnson-Kennedy Funeral Home, Inc. of Canandaigua, NY, help. This funeral home’s history stretches back over a century, and they’re proud to cater to the needs of families in mourning. Whether you envision a burial or cremation, they will help you plan a dignified and memorable service. To learn more about their offerings, visit their website or call (585) 394-4280.

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