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I am so sorry for your loss. When I wrote Mom’s, I googled it and then chose one that spoke to me, using that as a guide. This particular one had a short paragraph that was very personal about the deceased person. That 1 paragraph captured the essence of Mom. 5 weeks later, my FIL passed & I used the same format for him. Both times we elected to not have it in the paper due to cost; instead, we had it, along with a picture, on the funeral home website, which was feee.
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Reply to kdcm1011
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Firstly, my heartfelt condolences for your loss.

What I did when planning my mother's funeral (she is still living, but elderly and we are planning it together for when that day comes), was to look at other obituaries in the paper. You can also look at those on-line from funeral homes. Those will give you many good ideas and templates to follow.
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Reply to PacJac
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Talk from the heart, yet give a coherent outline of the person's life and the important aspect's of that person's life. Show the love for that person, but also tell the important things, people, events in that person's life that is easy to follow and understand.
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Reply to HappyWill
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With love. Include name and when they died. Description of death according to their wishes:
Suddenly in her sleep
After a long illness
After a brief illnes
After a 5 year battle with Cancer...

Then write what they loved to do, what brought them joy in life. Names of close family that preceeded them in death. Names of living parents, siblings,kids. Then depending on size of the family, name or number of grandkids, great-grandchildren, perhaps beloved nieces and nephews ( again number, unless they were in her life and lot)...and "many close friends".
Also list jobs and places they worked, so former co-workers know it is the person they knew and worker with.
Then when, where & type of Services: visitation/wake/funeral/burial or cremation. Note if any are private ceremony. If they have a charity or cause/group for donations in lieu of flowers, list that at the end.

If LO is a vet, you need to include their service & a copy of discharge papers so they can put a flag for veteran on the obit. You should try to include a favorite photo. It does not need to be their most recent. Should be one that is recongnizable to family and friends.

Hope this helps!
Online obit is popular because newspaper charges by line of print. You can print a brief death notice, then have longer obit online.
Ex: Died on (date), further information available at/on ... (funeral home or online obituary site.)
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Reply to GraceLPC
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In my area, an obituary is published online at the funeral home and in print in the local newspaper. Some have just basic information, some are quite involved. I know what comments my mother has made about other obituaries, so I pretty well know she wants just basic facts.
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Reply to Learn2Cope
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I called on my dad's cousin for his and the funeral home helped me too.

Your funeral home will give you a lot of advice about what to include.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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There's no right or wrong here. The funeral home can do one with the basic highlights of your loved ones life if you are struggling. I had to write mom and daddy's obituaries just weeks apart. I put them in the words. Daddy died suddenly so I couldn't really put the time into it that I did moms since she was still with us a few weeks but we knew she would not be staying. Here's how I did hers......."enjoyed spending time with her daughter and grandchildren and traveling with her late husband. One of her favorite destinations was Biltmore Estate. She spent most of her days outside finding work that needed done and telling others how to do it. She enjoyed the thrill of attending and watching NASCAR races and for every hockey game the Penguins lost she would cheer louder, always rooting for her beloved Ovie and the Washington Caps. She had a grand sense of humor that always brought out laughter in anyone near her. If she was laughing with you or at you remained secret to all but her.
She will be dearly missed by her daughter and grandchildren who she taught how to always be strong and never let them see you sweat."
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Reply to Angiedd
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Thank you all for your suggestions and advice. I appreciate it very much. cwillie,not a eulogy, thank goodness.
nbarber
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Reply to anonymous869348
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This is what I like to see:

Mary Doe (nee Jones) age 90 passed on December 26, 2018. Mary was born Sept 10th 1940 in Philadephia PA. She has lived most of her life in Cherry Hill, NJ. She is survived by her husband of 50 yrs, John Doe, daughter Jane Smith (Don) and son, John Jr. (Sally). Grandchildren, Bill Smith and Charles Doe.

Predeceased by Parents Mary and James Jones.

Services will be held at Williams Funeral Home, Cherryhill. Viewing will be held from 7 to 9pm on December 29th for friends and family. Services to be held on December 30th at 11am. Internment will follow the services at Lake Cemetery, Cherry Hill.

That is a short one. I mentioned full names because for family to be paid for the day, the employer usually wants proof of death and relationship. A lot of people list they worked so many years for a company. Belonged to a certain Church. Liked to golf, knit, etc. Every letter cost money so depends how much you want to spend.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Having just been through this, you can find sample obits online. Warning - they are expensive.
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Reply to golden23
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Tothill Dec 26, 2018
Yes, very expensive. It cost just over $500 for a 340 word Obit with a photo in our local 'free' 2x/week paper last month for my stepdad. That was placing it just one time. Mum had written it and his daughter, edited it. I was the one sending it in. I practically had kittens when I saw the cost.

The Funeral home gave us a template to use.

In our community the practice is to publish the obit prior to the funeral. It is very challenging to get hold of everyone who needs to know, especially for someone who has been greatly involved in community activities.

Some community groups have great 'phone trees' to pass along the word, but others not so much.
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nsbarber, I agree with cwillie, see how obits are written in your local newspapers, and it could also depend on the cost. Some newspapers charge by the line.

I would suggest the obit be written a couple weeks after the funeral. The immediately family/friends already knows about when the services will be so no need to use paid line space for that.

While doing a family tree search I noticed the vast majority of passed relatives never had an obit. I never did one when my own parents had passed. May do an "Memorandum" announcement later down the road.

If you do do an obit, make sure you include all the immediate relative names and the correct spelling of their names. Yes, people can get upset if they see their name misspelled. Some obits ask instead of flowers to the family, to donate to such and such charity in memory of the one that passed.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Do you mean an obit or a eulogy? For the obit notice I would check the local papers and follow the customary format - often the funeral home will help with that. A eulogy is harder, if you google it there are tips and samples posted on line.
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Reply to cwillie
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