Death, whether it be a loved one or a friend, is a very emotional event. It is definitely saddening to see someone who was dear to you depart from this world. It should not, however, stop you from moving on and continue living your life. With death comes a funeral that needs a carefully planned program. To be able to properly say your goodbye to your loved one or friend, developing a good funeral program obituary will be a good idea.

Generally, if it is your first time writing a funeral program obituary, you might find it challenging to draft one from scratch. To come up with a good one, you can check out a few funeral obituary templates available on our website. Aside from checking out the available templates you can find on our website, we would also like to share with you a few guidelines coming up with a good one. Just make sure you continue reading this article.

How to Write a Funeral Program Obituary

An obituary represents a brief part of the deceased’s life story, what he/she has accomplished while he/she was living his/her life. It is often published in newspapers to give an announcement to those who may not have heard the passing of that loved one. A funeral program should contain all the information that you want to share with the audience. It is a keepsake about the person and how he/she lived his/her life and it also informs the people who mattered in his/her life what will happen during the final service.

To come up with a presentable funeral program obituary, we have a few tips that just might help you out.

Getting Relevant Information

  • Gather the names of people who mattered most to the deceased and knows the deceased well. Including their contact numbers is also a good idea. They will be able to provide a few notes and anecdotes about the deceased.
    • Pick about 5 people to talk to and gather notes from. Talking to more than five can be overwhelming and you could even gather stories that might be repetitive.
    • The people you choose to talk to should come from different walks of life and should be of different ages. Younger people, such as grandchildren of the deceased, can give a warm perspective about how they see their grandparent.
  • List down specific information. The information you will list down is going to be the basis of your funeral program obituary. You may already know the basic information you will need to list down but it will be better to double-check all the facts, especially the dates. Some of the information you did not list down can be added after you talk to the people close to the deceased. The basic information you need to take note of are the following:
    • Deceased’s date of birth
    • Deceased’s birth location
    • Deceased’s date of death
    • Cause of death
    • Name of deceased’s parents
    • Relatives close to the deceased
    • Name of spouse
    • Name of children
    • Career history. A full detail about his/her career history is not necessary. However, a general outline of his/her career could be great.
    • Organizations that may have made an impact on the deceased’s life.
    • Special achievements of the deceased. The correct titles, names, and years that these achievements were garnered.
    • The funeral arrangements and the details about it. This will include visiting hours and requests to bring flowers and other donations.
  • Start talking to the people you wrote down in your list. Filling in a few details about the deceased can help you out with what you are going to write in your funeral program obituary. Talk to them one by one in order to avoid getting overwhelmed with information.
  • Capture the spirit of the deceased through anecdotes. A few anecdotes will help to paint a picture about how well the deceased has lived his/her life. Be sure to ask the person you are talking to if you can use his/her words in the obituary. Include the ones that are definitely great examples about what the deceased was like when he/she was alive.
  • Ensure there are no discrepancies. Make sure to check and review records about when the deceased was born and when he/she was in school is advised. These can be checked by calling the school registrar and by checking the city or town’s records.


Drafting the Funeral Program Obituary

In drafting a funeral program obituary, there are a few things that one should consider. One of these things is the funeral program format. The format would probably look a lot like the following:

  • Start with the deceased’s details. The name, dates (birth and death), and cause of death should be reflected in the first paragraph of the obituary. You can also include the residence of the deceased. Letting the people know what the cause of death is necessary but there is absolutely no need to share all of the details about it.
  • Include details about where the deceased was born. Talk about his/her hometown and the name of his/her parents.
  • Write down education details of the deceased. Let them know about his/her achievements in school and what degrees he/she has achieved.
  • Describe his/her adult life. Frame the words properly in a way that will make the obituary paint a picture of how the deceased was like. Choosing your words properly can make the obituary meaningful to the people that surrounded the deceased. Be sure to illustrate the important aspects of the deceased’s life in the obituary as well.
  • Write down the details of the funeral arrangements. Let the audience know when and where the funeral will be.
  • End the obituary by saying “Thank you.” Thank the people who have helped out make his/her memorial a possibility. Thank the audience for being there during the memorial and for showing emotional support.


The Finishing Touches

  • Proofread and edit. The funeral program obituary should not be more than a page. Occasionally, for folded funeral programs, they will be about two pages. But make sure that you edit misspellings and grammatical errors as well as omit any statements that may be unnecessary in the obituary.
  • Include photographs. Include a good mixture of pictures that will show the fun as well as the serious side of the deceased. You can ask for photographs from friends and family of the deceased. You can have a formal-looking picture at the front of the obituary and insert some of the pictures in between statements, or collage the pictures and use it as a background of the program template for the funeral obituary program you are going to use.
  • Feedback. Ask for feedback from some of the people close to you and close to the deceased. Ask them to check if the information written is correct and accurate.
  • Tailor the obituary for a variety of platforms. Digital, printed, and the program. Be sure to adhere to the guidelines for each of the platform you choose to release the obituary to.
  • Keep a few copies of the obituary. You can give these to the relatives who will not be able to make it to the funeral services.


Now that we have helped you be able to write a good program for a funeral obituary, we hope that this will ease some of the tension you might be feeling about making the program. We know you have a lot of things on your mind and losing someone can be very hard. Planning a funeral program would probably just stress you out even more, but by following the guide we have, you can come up with one that will be done sooner than you expected. Sure there will be a few tears shed while doing it, but you are doing it for the one you love and we are pretty sure wherever he/she might be at the moment, he/she will greatly appreciate the efforts that you are making into keeping memories about him/her alive despite this loss.

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