Obituary Format and Directions

Writing a meaningful obituary can be difficult for even the most accomplished writer when you are trying to include people, situations, memories, and respect relationships, but  it need not be.  This guide will provide you with the guidance you need to gather the information you will need for a meaningful obituary that is accurate and inclusive.  Once you have the information together, you may write the obituary or provide it to our office and we are more than happy to put it together for you.

Once, you gather information from family and friends of the deceased about their childhood, education, career, hobbies and interests,, we invite you to use the template below to make the process easier.  This will ensure that you write a properly structured obituary or provide the sections of information needed for us to write the obituary.  

Instructions: Replace all items in ITALICS below with the appropriate information.

This obituary format is only a guide, and those things that are not appropriate for your particular obituary may be deleted.  Once you have your obituary draft completed and are ready to email it to us, please phone our office at 989.892.1772 to obtain our “Obituary Only email address” and so we are made aware that we should be expecting it.  If you would like to send us a photo with your obituary, please send it, uncropped, as an attachment to the email, and in a jpg format.  Also, please inform us where the obituary is to be placed and to whom questions about it should be directed...including contact information.

Please fill in the areas in italics to begin your obituary draft.


Last name, First name “nickname”

Town, State

(formerly of ___________)


<First name>, age ___, passed away <Date of Death>.  He/She was born <date>, to the late <deceased parents names> in <town of birth>.

He/She was a member of <                                   >.

He/She enjoyed <                                                    >.

He/She was active with <                                       >.

Surviving are <list those surviving as spouse, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, & special friends>.  [Please place the name of the survivor and their spouse who is still living in parentheses with the name of the survivor, for example:  surviving is her cousin, Mary (Mark) Sayles]…Mary is the survivor and Mark is the spouse.

He/She was predeceased by, <list those who have died and their relationship to the deceased>.

A <Funeral Service, Memorial Service, Mass, Celebration of Life, Gathering> will be held on < date, location, and address, with Pastor/Reverend _____________ officiating>. The family will receive friends on <date, location and time>.

In lieu of flowers those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Memorial Contributions to <name of charity, charity of the donor’s choice, Wishes of the Family>.