Selover Funeral Home will write an obituary based upon the information collected in the arrangement conference. The family will then be given the opportunity to edit or add to the draft to create a final version. Keep in mind that most newspapers charge by line or word for the obituary printed in their publications. The obituaries will appear on this website, as well as the websites of the newpapers that publish the obituaries (some of these occur at additional costs by the newspapers).
Below is a basic outline of an obituary: Replace all items in ITALICS below with the appropriate information.
[TOWN OF RESIDENCE, STATE]
[GIVEN NAME] [MIDDLE NAME (AND NICKNAME)] [SURNAME NAME] , died on [DATE OF DEATH] at [FACILITY] in [LOCATION OF DEATH]. He/She was [AGE].
Born in [LOCATION OF BIRTH] he/she lived in [LOCATION] before moving to [CURRENT TOWN] [NUMBER OF YEARS] ago. He/she went to high school at [SCHOOL NAME] and graduated in [YEAR]. He/she went on to earn a degree/certificate in [DEGREE TYPE] from [SCHOOL NAME]. He/she worked as a [JOB TYPE] for [COMPANY] for [NUMBER OF YEARS].
He/she enjoyed [ACTIVITIES/HOBBIES]. He/she received [AWARDS/HONORS] and was involved in [CHARITIES/ORGANIZATIONS].
He/she is preceded in death by his/her [RELATION], [NAME]. (List predeceased: spouse, parents, children and siblings.)
He/she is survived by his/her [RELATION], [NAME] of [CITY]. (List all survivors: spouse children, siblings, parents, grandchildren, nieces and nephews).
Funeral service will be held [TIME], [DAY] at [LOCATION]. Burial will follow at [CEMETERY NAME], [CEMETERY LOCATION]. Visitation will be held on [DAY] at [TIME] at [LOCATION]
Memorial contributions may be made to [ORGANIZATION NAME], [MAILING ADDRESS].
Giving a meaningful, moving eulogy can be a nerve-wracking situation for even the most accomplished public speaker, but it need not be. How can you summarize somebody’s life in a few short minutes, while being both somber and funny at the same time? Writing and delivering a eulogy is a therapeutic tool to help deal with your grief, and being chosen to give a eulogy is an honor and should be treated that way. Be mindful of the location the eulogy will be presented. When preparing a eulogy to take place in a church, check with the clergy for time limits and guidelines regarding content. If you find the guidelines to be too constraining, consider giving the eulogy at another time, perhaps at the repast following the funeral. Here are some tips for writing and delivering an eloquent and memorable eulogy.
- Gather information. Talk with family members, close friends and co-workers to get important information on the deceased. Some important information to include in the eulogy is the persons family and other close relationships, their education/career, hobbies or special interests, places the person lived or travelled too, and any special accomplishments they had.
- Organize your thoughts. Jot down your ideas by whatever means are most comfortable and familiar to you. Create an outline of your speech, and fill in the information that you gathered about the person. Limit your talk to three to five minutes
- Write it down. This is not a toast at a wedding where you can make off the cuff remarks, and you should not adlib a eulogy. Writing it all down allows you to include and remember every detail you wanted in your eulogy. When you bring a copy your eulogy to the podium make sure it is easy to read, print it out in a large font, or if it hand-written leave a few spaces between the lines. Keep in mind your time constraints, it’s best to keep things on the short side, especially if there are other speakers.
- Review and Revise. Your first draft will not be the last. When you think you are done, sleep on it and look it over in the morning when it is fresh again, that will be the time to make any necessary revisions.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. Read over your eulogy several times in order to become familiar with it. Practice in front of a mirror, read it over to some friends or family and have them give you feedback. Become familiar with your speech so you can recite it without making it look like you’re reading from a script. The more you practice the more comfortable you will be.
- Make them laugh, but be respectful. A funeral is not a roast, however there is room for humor in your eulogy. Fondly remember a story about the person that everyone can relate too. Keep it appropriate, there will be children and the elderly there that may not share the same sense of humor. Laughter is truly the best medicine, and some well placed humor will help people cope, and will bring back fond memories of the deceased.
- Don’t be afraid to show emotion. Funerals are an extremely emotional event, nobody expects you not to shed a few tears. However, if you feel that you will be too strongly overcome by your emotions, have a back-up plan in place where someone you trust can deliver the eulogy for you. Give them a copy well in advance if you feel this could be an issue.
- Have a glass of water as well as tissues handy.