20+ Free Obituary Templates & Samples [Word+PDF]

printable obituary template

An obituary template is the best way to make newspaper obituaries or obituary programs. Some people get worried while drafting obituaries, but writing an obituary can be easy with the help of an obituary template. You can find various obituary templates on any website and can download them and edit them according to your need.

What is an obituary?

Basically, an obituary is a news article that reports the death of a person. This article accounts for the deceased person’s life, achievements, family members, and outlines the information about the planned funeral together with memorial service. In short, it has a brief description of the biography of a deceased person. The main purpose of the obituary honors the life of the deceased. In addition, the obituary also acts as a death notice.

Important components of an obituary:

The important components that should be included in an obituary are as follows;

The announcement of death:

At first, you have to start with the name, age, and place of the residence of a deceased person. Then, write the time and place that when his/her death occurred. You can also use different phrases to denote the death of a person. If you want to avoid too many questions then you should also mention the cause of death.

Biographical sketch:

Here you have to include the most important contributions, qualities, and achievements of a deceased person. You should also include the following information;

  • Deceased person’s date and place of birth
  • His/her parents’ name
  • His/her mother maiden’s name
  • Parents place of marriage, their education, and their work before passing on.

Bear in mind that it is not a legal document, you can add what you want to include. Next, you should mention life events in chronological order. Include those things that indicate how he/she inspired the community. Furthermore, state the statement or quote that a deceased person often spoke out.

Key relatives:

Don’t forget to mention key relatives. By discussing the relatives you bring some life into the sad moment. As it is the time of grief so don’t forget to include the key relatives. Take a start-up with closest survivors of the deceased persons such as their children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, cousins, nieces, etc.

Funeral time:

In this section, you have to include the time, full date, and place for burial. However, it’s better to leave this part to be decided by the funeral director.

Any special message:

A special message may include any short inspiring Bible verse or a poem line. With the help of a special message, you can sum up the obituary.

Deceased person’s pictures:

In the end, include the picture of a deceased person as it becomes easy for the people to identify the deceased. You should include the recent photos of the deceased because it makes it a lot easier for people to picture the deceased.

Various sections of obituary or funeral program:

Obituary or funeral programs typically printed out and distributed around the family and friends. Due to its extensiveness, it has various sections;

Basic information section:

To proceed further you need to gather basic information such as;

  • Full name and nicknames of the deceased.
  • Dates of birth and death of the deceased
  • Service details of the funeral
  • Cover photo (it’s optional)

The sequence of service section:

Your funeral director should offer some guidance if a funeral service will be held in church or chapel. Moreover, your director may provide you obituary program samples. Let us discuss what is included in a standard one;

  • The entrance song
  • A prayer
  • Bible verses reading
  • The Eulogy
  • Deceased person’s personal tributes
  • Singing poem or song
  • Funeral sermon
  • The ending and exit song
  • Information about the burial.

For the program including an obituary:

This is the most important part of the funeral program. For the local newspaper, you have to submit a summarized version. However, some of the details that should be included are;

  • Personal information of the deceased such as the birthplace, residence, etc.
  • His/her career information
  • His/her church affiliation
  • Particular qualities and notable hobbies
  • Personal traits
  • Any special message or quote that sums up it all.

Images and photo collages:

It is a common characteristic of obituary programs. For easier manipulation and insertion, you should get the electronic version. You can also contact deceased family and friends to get the most suitable images. In addition, social media is the best source for this.

Additional information:

You can also include the additional information in your funeral program. These are as follows;

  • Some details about the pall and flower bearers
  • Information about poems, scripture, and prayers
  • Reception details.

Word length of an obituary:

An obituary can contain 200 words. It is considered as average length. However, it may be less than 100 and as long as 450 words. It all depends on the content that will be used. You should use a template and create content by keeping in view the word count.

Obituary program templates are the easiest and most convenient way to create an obituary program. There are various obituary program templates on different websites. All these templates are very helpful for you in the moment of grief. You can find them in different designs, layouts, and sizes. Most importantly, selecting an obituary template ensures that you have the necessary software for a specific design.

Mistakes to avoid while writing an obituary:

Here are some mistakes that you must avoid while writing an obituary;

Making it too personal

Don’t include too many personal elements in the obituary. When you are writing an obituary, keep in mind it is for everyone who has access to the newspaper, website, or social media. It isn’t a place to express all your feelings. That way, you must keep it courteous, respectful, and informative.

Include other information about the deceased person’s life

Including the biographical section isn’t an obligatory element although it is a good way to celebrate a loved one’s passing. It would be better to reserve personal information for other memorial programs for the deceased.

Not selecting what to share about the deceased and the funeral service

For identity theft and scamming vultures, personal information shared in public can easily become important information. For example, in online profiles, the first name, mother’s maiden name, or full date of birth are usually important details to use. Furthermore, a hacker with the right information can simply fill in the blanks and misuse the information.


In conclusion, an obituary template is a very useful tool that helps you to create a clean and well-informed obituary without missing anything. It makes sure that you do not skip any important thing. As obituary is the last honor to the deceased person so you have to make it perfect.

In addition, the two types of obituaries are created; the brief one is for newspaper obituaries and the other which is lengthy to be read at the funeral.

Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How to list family members in an obituary?

At first, you have to include your family member’s first name and then their spouse’s first name in brackets and their last name.

How to format an obituary?

Format an obituary in the following way;

1- Announce the death
2- Specify details about their life
3- Mention surviving family members
4- Include a special message or poem
5- Select an appropriate obituary picture
6- Specify information regarding the funeral or memorial

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

You Might Also Like