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Obituary Writing  

Obituary Templates to Help You Get Started

Written By Lastly.com

Have you recently lost a loved one?

Are you looking for funeral obituary templates?

Want to personalize an obituary program for a funeral?


Why Use an Obituary Template?

Are you tasked to write an obituary, but don’t know where to start? You can choose from a variety of online obituary templates to get you started writing an obituary for your lost loved one. We’ve also included a free obituary template at the end of this article to help you.

Obituaries have been a necessity for many years; they have been used as a way to inform the community about a person’s life and death. You can place an obituary in local newspapers, magazines, and on the funeral home’s website. You may also want to consider publishing an obituary in any local newspapers in your loved one’s hometown or anywhere else they may have lived for a significant amount of time (or where you know that they still have family members or friends residing).


Click here to download ebook: How to Write an Obituary


When someone dies, especially an unexpected death, you may be overwhelmed with the number of tasks and decisions that need to be completed in such a short time before the funeral service. Using an obituary template to help you through the writing process can help relieve some of the pressure during this time of grief. You will find many free obituary templates and printable funeral obituary templates available online. And any one of them can be highly useful to write, and even personalize, your obituary.


How to Use an Obituary Program Template

Most obituary templates provide an outline that you can follow when creating an obituary for your loved one (or for your own obituary). You can fill in the blanks about birth and death information, answer a questionnaire, replace text with your own or follow any of the writing prompts to help you complete an obituary.

Simple obituary templates can be printed for easy use, or you may be able to use them online. In addition, templates may have different themes, but each should include all of the same essential elements.

  • Name of the deceased person
  • Recent photo of the deceased person
  • Age at death
  • Reason for death
  • Date and place of death
  • Date and place of birth
  • Guardians’ names (if applicable)
  • Family members’ names
  • Family who preceded them in death
  • Family history
  • Education (high school, college, etc.)
  • Marriage date
  • Professional accomplishments
  • Personal achievements
  • Funeral service arrangements
  • Information regarding flowers and donations


How to Personalize an Obituary Template

If you’re confident in your writing abilities, you may not need an obituary template. However, obituary templates are a great way to make sure that you don’t leave out any important details. There really aren’t any specific rules when it comes to obituary writing—only that you provide enough information about the deceased person and any funeral service, Jewish memorial or other memorial arrangements. Other than that, you can keep the obituary a little generic if you wish, or you can customize it for your loved one.

When you write an obituary, here are a few ways that you can customize an obituary template:

Talk to family members. Those closest to the deceased will have known him/her the best, as well as how they wanted to be remembered. So, take the time to rely on close family, friends, and relatives for the most accurate and detailed information. Also gather photos and other memorabilia that can be used or displayed at the funeral service or memorial service.

Share personal stories. The best obituaries tell the individual history of the deceased person, plus add a human touch to the written obituary program. Let your loved one’s personality shine through when you write an obituary.

Include fun, funny, bizarre or interesting facts. When talking to family members, did you find out anything interesting about your loved one’s life? Or do you have a funny story to share? These are great ways to customize an obituary. Talk about the things that truly made your loved one’s life interesting… details that other people would appreciate knowing.

Be funny. If your loved one had a sense of humor, then let humor lead the way when writing an obituary. Or if he/she had another personality quirk, then let that show in what you write. Using your loved one’s personality is one of the best approaches when personalizing an obituary.

Find something meaningful to include. Many obituaries and memorial service or funeral programs include poems, song lyrics, quotes or spiritual passages that were meaningful to the deceased person.


Beyond the Obituary Program

Great obituaries can be used in many ways. After you write an obituary program and publish it in a newspaper or online, it can also be used as a base or starting point for the eulogy or memorial speech. You may want to use some of the information from the obituary program template in a death notice or in a memorial or funeral program, as well as when reading a eulogy. You can also save the obituary online, either through the funeral home’s website, a personal website, through social media or on a site such as Lastly.com.

Lastly.com is a great online resource to help preserve your loved one’s memories, photos, videos, and life stories. You can create a life time line for the decease person, customize a family tree, upload photos and videos, and more.


A Funeral Obituary Template to Help Get You Started


Full name of the deceased, including nickname, if any

Age at death

Residence (name of city) at death

Day and date of death (include year)

Place of death

Cause of death



Date of birth

Place of birth

Names of parents

Childhood: siblings, stories, schools, friends

Marriage(s): date of, place, name of spouse

Education: school, college, university, etc.

Designations, awards, and recognitions

Employment: jobs, activities, stories, colleagues, satisfactions, promotions, union activities, frustrations

Military service

Places of residence

Hobbies, sports, interests, activities, and other entertainment

Charitable, religious, fraternal, political, and other affiliations; positions held



Unusual attributes, character, personality, hopes, wishes, dreams, humor, and other stories



Survived by (include place of residence)


Children (in order of birth date, and spouses)






Siblings (in order of birth date)

Other family members (e.g., nephews, nieces, cousins, in-laws)


Pets (if applicable)

Predeceased by (include death date):



Day, date, time, place

Name of officiant, pallbearers, honorary pallbearers, other information

Visitation information, if applicable: day, date, time, place

Reception information, if applicable: day, date, time, place

Other memorial, vigil or graveside services, if applicable: day, date, time, place

Place of interment

Name of funeral home in charge of arrangements

Where to call for more information (even if no service planned)



Charitable requests

Memorial funds established

Memorial donation suggestions, including addresses

Thank you to people, groups or institutions

Quotation, song lyric, scripture passage or poem

Three words that sum up his/her life


If you need more information on obituaries and obituary writing, feel free to view the many other articles on our site.


Writing Your LifeStory


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