By Johan MüllerFri. 21 Jun. 20243min Read

How to Create a Professional Obituary: A Step-by-Step Example

Learn how to create a professional obituary with our step-by-step guide. Use PDF Reader Pro's template to honor and remember your loved one's life with dignity.
How to Create a Professional Obituary: A Step-by-Step Example

Writing an obituary can be challenging, especially during a time of loss. It is a way to honor and remember a loved one by sharing their life story.

Using a professional obituary template simplifies this process, ensuring that all necessary information is included and presented respectfully. PDF Reader Pro offers a comprehensive obituary template that makes this task easier, saving time and ensuring accuracy.

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Johan Müller
Blog Author - B2B SaaS Content Writer
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Like any other writer, his path crossed with the SaaS industry. For over three years, he has been combining his SEO and writing skills to create informative listicles, comparisons, and tutorial posts.


What is an Obituary?

Before you start writing an obituary, it’s helpful to understand the significant role this document plays.

An obituary is a written notice of a person's death, typically published in newspapers and online platforms. It serves multiple essential purposes:

  • Notification of DeathAn obituary informs the public of an individual's passing. It is a formal and respectful way to communicate this news to the broader community, ensuring that friends, acquaintances, and extended family are aware of the loss.
  • Celebration of LifeObituaries go beyond merely announcing a death. They provide a snapshot of the deceased’s life, highlighting their achievements, personal qualities, and the roles they played in their family and community. This celebration of life allows others to appreciate the person's journey and the legacy they leave behind.
  • Record of HistoryFor many families, an obituary acts as a historical record. It documents the life of a loved one for future generations, preserving important details and memories that might otherwise be forgotten.
  • Information on Memorial ServicesObituaries often include crucial details about funeral or memorial services, such as the date, time, and location. This information helps attendees plan to pay their respects and support the grieving family.
  • Means of ClosureWriting and reading an obituary can be a therapeutic process for those grieving. It offers a way to process the loss, publicly acknowledge the grief, and begin the healing journey. It allows friends and family to celebrate the person’s life and share in their collective memories.
  • Community ConnectionBy sharing stories, personal traits, and achievements, obituaries help connect the community. They provide an opportunity for others to remember and relate to the person who has passed away, fostering a sense of unity and shared remembrance.


In essence, an obituary is more than just a death announcement; it is a tribute to a person’s life, a celebration of their journey, and a meaningful way to acknowledge their departure.


Learn the best practices for expressing your gratitude with our comprehensive guide on how to write a thank you note.


How to Create an Obituary

Writing an obituary is a unique way to honor a loved one's journey through life. It's a special message that captures their essence, remembers their life experiences, and announces their passing to the world.

This guide will help you create a professional obituary using the PDF Reader Pro template.


Check out our guide on how to write on a PDF using PDF Reader Pro for seamless editing.


Step 1: Personal Details

Start by collecting all personal details of the deceased person. This information will form the foundation of your obituary.

  • Full Name: Include the full legal name, along with any nicknames or maiden names.
  • Date of Birth and Date of Death: Clearly state the dates to provide a timeline.
  • Location: Mention the city and state of their passing.
  • Parents' Names: Include the names of the parents.


Step 2:  Life Summary

This section provides an overview of the deceased’s life, focusing on key moments and accomplishments.

  • Place of Birth: Indicate where the deceased was born.
  • Childhood Locations: Mention where they grew up.
  • Education: List schools or universities attended.


Step 3: Career and Accomplishments

Highlight the professional life and significant achievements of the deceased.

  • Profession: Specify the occupation and years of service.
  • Special Skills, Awards, or Achievements: Highlight notable skills and recognitions.


Step 4: Family and Friends

Provide details about close family members and significant relationships.

  • Surviving Relatives: List close family members such as spouse, children, parents, and siblings.
  • Extended Family and Friends: Mention other loving friends and extended family members.


Step 5: Hobbies and Interests

Describe the personal interests and hobbies that the deceased enjoyed.

  • Hobbies and Activities: List hobbies, interests, and activities they were passionate about.


Step 6: Mentioning Funeral and Memorial Service Details

Provide clear information regarding the funeral or memorial services.

  • Type of Service: Specify whether it is a funeral, memorial, or wake.
  • Date, Time, and Location: Ensure these details are clear.
  • Burial Information: If applicable, mention the burial location.


Step 7: Memorial Donations

Guide on how to include information about memorial donations.

  • Charity Information: Provide details if the family requests donations to a specific charity in lieu of flowers.


By following these steps, you can create a meaningful and respectful obituary that honors your loved one's memory. With PDF Reader Pro, the process becomes more manageable, allowing you to focus on celebrating the life lived.


Explore our guide on how to rearrange pages in a PDF for more PDF tips.

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Additional Tips for Creating a Obituary

Crafting an obituary is a delicate task that requires attention to detail and a thoughtful approach. Here are some additional tips to help you create a meaningful and respectful obituary:

  • Review and Edit: Carefully review all the information to ensure accuracy. Double-check names, dates, and other critical details to make sure the obituary is error-free.
  • Include Photos: Adding photos of the deceased can make the obituary more personal and touching. Choose images that reflect their personality and significant moments in their life.
  • Seek Feedback: Have a trusted friend or family member review the obituary. They can provide valuable feedback and ensure that the obituary accurately captures the essence and spirit of your loved one.
  • Highlight Achievements: Don't hesitate to mention significant accomplishments and contributions. This could include professional achievements, volunteer work, or personal milestones.
  • Be Mindful of Tone: While it’s important to be respectful, try to incorporate the deceased’s personality and humor if appropriate. This can make the obituary more relatable and heartfelt.
  • Provide Clear Service Information: Make sure the details about the funeral or memorial service are clear and easy to understand. This helps attendees plan and show their support.
  • Express Gratitude: Acknowledge and thank those who have offered support during this difficult time. This can include caregivers, friends, or anyone who has helped.


By following these tips, you can create an obituary that honors your loved one’s life and provides comfort to those who read it.

How to Create an Obituary: FAQ

Should I include the circumstances of death in the obituary?

Including the circumstances of death is a personal choice. Some families choose to include this information, especially if it reflects on the life and character of the deceased, such as a long battle with an illness. However, it's also completely acceptable to omit these details if you prefer privacy.


How detailed should the obituary be?

A complete obituary typically includes key personal information, a brief overview of the life story, details about the funeral or memorial service, and a list of surviving family members. The level of detail depends on your comfort and the space available if publishing in a newspaper.


Is it necessary to list all family members?

While it's customary to include the names of close family members, you don't need to list everyone. Focus on those who were closest to the deceased. For extended family, general terms like "loved by many cousins, nieces, and nephews" can be used.


Are there alternative ways to honor someone in an obituary?

Yes, you can explore alternative ways to honor the deceased, such as highlighting their personal characteristics or sharing fond memories. Some obituaries include anecdotes or quotes that reflect the beautiful life and character of the person they're remembering.


Can I share a personal story in the obituary?

Absolutely. Sharing personal stories or fond memories can make the obituary more heartfelt and personal. These anecdotes provide a glimpse into the life and personality of the deceased and can be a source of comfort to those who knew them.

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