San Diego Obituaries: An Easy Guide on How to Write a Great Obituary

San Diego Obituaries: An Easy Guide on How to Write a Great Obituary

Looking through the San Diego obituaries may not readily give you the tools you need to write a great obituary. Our easy guide will put you on the right path.

Writing an obituary that sums up a person’s life might seem overwhelming. If you have a loved one or close friend who has passed away and you are planning their funeral, trying to adequately honor them in an obituary might seem like an impossible task. 

This guide can help. Follow these tips and steps on creating San Diego obituaries to give your family member the send-off they deserve. Read on to learn more. 

1. Include Their Biographical Information 

This is called the announcement of death or the death announcement. Many newspapers will print this a day or two after a person’s death and then print the full obituary a day or two later. Newspapers will include this information, so people are aware of recent deaths in San Diego, for example.

The full obituary will also include this biographical information. Things to include are: 

  • Their full name
  • Where and when they were born
  • Current place of residence
  • Date of death
  • Cause of death (this is optional)

2. Details and Life Events

Many obituaries include information about a person’s life events, such as:

  • Date of marriage and name of their spouse
  • The city where they were born and currently live (this can be included in the biographical information in the beginning of the obituary or further down)
  • Schools attended and degrees earned
  • Names of employers and the roles they held
  • Military service (include the branch and rank)
  • Notable hobbies or interests
  • Church memberships and if they were particularly active in their church
  • Membership in other organizations 

You can include anything you deem relevant here.

3. Personalize It

Sure, you can include a listing of the events of a person’s life and their involvement, but what really makes the obituary special, is personal information about the deceased person. 

Much of the obituary is focused on what the person did, but if you really want to make it personal, make it about what they were like. Share information about things that they were especially passionate about, including organizations, volunteer work, or any activism they may have been involved in. 

Think about what you admired most about your loved one and what you want others to know about them, whether they were incredibly kind or an amateur comedian. This obituary, written by the daughter of a man who died in 2019, went viral and really captured his spirt for those who may not have known him. 

4. List Family Members 

The listing of family members usually includes those who have preceded the person in death as well as those who survive them. You don’t need to include every family member who is deceased or surviving, but general practice is to include immediate family (spouses, parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren). If there were other family members that they were particularly close to, those can be included as well. 

Ultimately, who you include is up to you. Most newspapers charge by the inch, so the more you include the more expensive the obituary will be. If you are on a strict budget, keep this in mind.  

5. Funeral Information 

Include information about the funeral services, such as the day and time and location for the various events, such as the wake or visitation, church services or mass, and burial information. 

If the service is private or if no services will be held, make that clear as well. If there will be a memorial service at a future date, that can also be noted here. Providing this information publicly will let people who you may not know to contact know when the services are and give them the opportunity to attend. 

It also saves you from contacting a large number of people to notify them when and where the events are happening. 

6. Special Thanks or Requests 

If there are any organizations that were particularly helpful in your loved one’s life or their last days, or a caregiver that they were close to, you may want to mention them and thank them here.

You can also include any special requests, such as a charity or other organization to donate to in lieu of flowers or a request for funeral attendees to wear a specific color that was the favorite of the person who passed away. 

7. Photo 

A San Diego obituary usually includes a photo of the person who has passed away. If they are elderly, some family members will choose to use a photo of them from when they were young.

Alternatively, you can include a recent photo, or both (keep in mind that some newspapers may only allow one photo or charge for multiple photos, so check with them before the obituary is submitted). 

What Not to Include 

In the past, obituaries often included the address of the person who died. Unfortunately, this information can be used to burglarize a house while everyone is at the funeral and the home is unattended. 

Omitting the person’s birthday is also wise, as including their birthday could put them at risk of identity theft. Criminals can use that information to open accounts in the deceased person’s name. Including their birth year is usually sufficient. 

It’s also a good idea to have the obituary proofread by someone else as it’s often difficult to find errors in your own writing. They can also verify if names are spelled correctly and if dates are correct. Don’t assume that the newspaper will proofread for you.

San Diego Obituaries That Are Heartfelt and Honor Your Loved One

Keep these tips in mind as you craft San Diego obituaries for your loved ones. Try to capture all of the good you remember about the deceased and convey that in your obituary.

If you are planning a funeral for a loved one or pre-planning your own, La Vista Memorial Park is a family-owned business that has served the San Diego area for over 150 years. Contact us today to learn more about how we can honor your loved one or help you plan your own funeral services.