A guest at a forest memorial reads from a program while pointing to a loved ones memorial tree. Programs often contain excerpts from obituaries.

Short Obituary Examples and Templates

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In moments of loss, words often fail us. The task of encapsulating a life in a few paragraphs can feel like a daunting challenge. Yet, in this delicate time, writing an obituary becomes not just a task, but a tribute—a final act that honors and celebrates the life of someone cherished. 

If you find yourself facing the responsibility of writing an obituary, perhaps for the first time, and feel unsure where to begin, know that you are not alone. We’re here to help you. This guide aims to gently support you through the process, offering obituary examples and templates that resonate with empathy.

How to write a simple obituary

An obituary serves as an announcement of passing, a record of life, and a token of remembrance. At its core, a basic obituary includes:

  • Date of birth 
  • Date of death
  • Age at the time of passing

It’s also common to include:

  • Please of residence
  • Place of passing
  • Preceding and surviving family member

The inclusion of personal details, life achievements, and character traits is optional but encouraged, as they add depth and individuality to the obituary. Information about funeral or memorial services can also be provided, offering a way for the community to come together in support and remembrance. Below, we share various obituary examples and templates to inspire and guide you in crafting a fitting tribute to your loved one.

A Simple Short Obituary Example Template

[Full name], [age], of [where they lived], passed away on [date of death] from [cause of death]. Preceded in death by [list of predeceased family members], and survived by [list of surviving family members].

Obituary Example: Announcing the Funeral

[Full name], [age], of [where they lived], sadly left us on [date of death] due to [cause of death]. They leave behind [list of surviving family members]. A service will be held in their honor at [time] on [date] at [location].

Group of memorial forest visitors analyzing obituary examples from a book they hold

Obituary Example: Announcing a Private Funeral

With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of [full name] of [where they lived], who died at age [age] on [date of death] after [circumstance of death]. The funeral will be a private ceremony, remembering [first name] in the presence of close family.

Obituary Example: No Funeral or Memorial

[Full name] sadly passed away on [date of death] at their home in [place of passing]. They always spread joy and happiness wherever they went.

As per [first name]’s request, no funeral or memorial service will be held.

Obituary Example: Inviting Donations

In loving memory of [full name], who took their final breath on [date] at the age of [age], surrounded by loved ones, we invite contributions to [charity] in lieu of flowers, honoring [first name]’s legacy.

Obituary Example: Funeral Information to Follow

We are sad to announce the death of [full name], who passed away in the hospital/their home on [date of death] after a brief illness. We will miss them very much.

We are in the process of arranging their funeral and will announce the details soon.

Obituary Example: Ash Spreading Ceremony Invitation

The world became brighter on [date of birth], the day that [full name] was born. [First name] sadly passed on [date of death] after a long and happy life. They will be sorely missed.

There will be a ceremony to spread [first name]’s ashes at [location] on [date of ceremony].

Obituary Example: Announcing a Celebration of Life

[Full name] left us on [date of death] at the age of [age]. To celebrate [first name]’s remarkable life, we gather on [date] at [location]. In lieu of traditional mourning, we request the joy of your company in bright colors, reflecting [first name]’s vibrant spirit.

Short Obituary Example: For a Pillar of the Community

Obituary Example 1:

“Our community mourns the loss of [full name], a beacon of [community trait], who passed on [date of death]. [First name] devoted countless hours to [community service]. In their memory, donations to [organization] are welcomed, continuing the work they loved.”

Obituary Example 2:

“[Full name], age [age], a beloved figure of [where they lived], sadly left our world on [date of death], after a life richly lived in service and kindness. Known for [mention of significant contributions], [first name] was a beacon of light and hope in our community, touching lives through [specific actions or roles]. Preceded in death by [list of predeceased family members], and leaving a legacy through [list of surviving family members], [first name]’s memory will be a guiding star for all who knew them. In remembrance, a gathering will take place on [date] at [location], where we will honor [first name]’s enduring impact on our community and hearts.”

Three people relaxing in a grassy field of a memorial forest, discussing examples of obituaries

Short Obituary Examples: For a Son or Daughter

Obituary Example 1:

“Our beloved [full name] tragically left us on [date of death]. Loved and missed by [list of family members]. [First name]’s passion for [hobbies/interests] touched all who knew them. Contributions to [charity], a cause close to their heart, are appreciated.”

Obituary Example 2:

“With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our beloved child, [full name], who was taken from us too soon on [date of death] at the tender age of [age]. [He/She/They] brought immeasurable joy and light into our lives with [his/her/their] kind heart, radiant smile, and boundless curiosity. Though [his/her/their] time with us was brief, the depth of love and happiness [he/she/they] shared will forever remain in our hearts. 

A service celebrating [full name]’s precious life will be held on [date], at [location], where friends and family are invited to remember a life that, albeit short, was truly a gift to us all.

Obituary Examples: For a Lifelong Friend

Obituary Example 1:

We remember [full name], whose spirit departed from us on [date of death] at the age of [age]. [First name], a beacon of unwavering friendship and kindness, has left an indelible mark on the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to know them. We invite all who cherished [first name] to join us in a ceremony of remembrance at [location] on [date], where we will share stories, laughter, and tears, just as [first name] would have wished. For those moved to honor [first name]’s legacy, donations to [charity/organization] will sustain their commitment to [cause/community service], a testament to the boundless love they shared with the world.”

Obituary Example 2:

“We bid farewell to [full name], a true friend and beacon of light, who departed from this world on [date of death], leaving behind a legacy of warmth and kindness. [First name] walked through life with a gentle strength, touching the lives of everyone they encountered with an unforgettable grace. They were an advocate for [cause], dedicating their time and resources to making the world a brighter place. A lover of [list a few hobbies or interests], [first name] found beauty in life’s simple moments and encouraged us all to do the same. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to [charity], a cause deeply important to [first name]. Please join us in celebrating [first name]’s remarkable life.

Obituary Examples: For Mothers

Obituary Example 1:

Our dear mother [full name] sadly passed away on [date of death], at the age of [age]. She was a wonderful mother who was always there when we needed her the most, offering support, wisdom, and love in abundance. A friend to many, she was a cherished member of the community in [place where she lived], leaving behind a legacy of kindness and strength. She was predeceased by [family members who died before] and leaves behind [family members who are still alive], along with countless friends who felt her warmth and generosity.

Obituary Example 2:

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of my mother, [full name], who left us on [date of death] after a beautifully lived life. Full of love, laughter, and resilience, she touched the lives of all who knew her. To commemorate her incredible journey and to celebrate the love she spread, a memorial service will be held in her honor at [location] on [date]. We invite all who knew her to join us in remembering a truly remarkable woman.

Obituary Examples: For Fathers

Obituary Example 1:

It is with profound sadness that I share the passing of my beloved father, [full name], who left us on [date of death] at the age of [age]. Surrounded by his loving family and friends in his final moments, he was a man of immense humor and wisdom, cherishing every moment spent with his loved ones. His passion for [hobbies/interests] and his unwavering spirit will forever be remembered. He is survived by [surviving family members], who will continue to honor his legacy by living their lives to the fullest.

Obituary Example 2:

We bid farewell to our father, [full name], who departed from this world on [date of death], at the age of [age]. A pillar of strength and a beacon of love, his absence leaves a void in our hearts. To commemorate his remarkable life and the memories we cherish, a service will be held at [location of the funeral] on [date]. We welcome all who knew him to join us in celebrating the life of a man who was loved deeply and will be missed. Find more meaningful obituary examples for a father here.

Eulogy: Another Way to Honor Someone’s Life in Writing

Hopefully, these obituary examples and obituary templates will help you get started with writing an obituary for your loved one. Bear in mind that if you’re planning to have the obituary published in a local newspaper, there may be a word or character limit.

Another way to honor someone’s life in writing is through a eulogy, which can be read aloud at a funeral or memorial service. Unlike an obituary, a eulogy allows for a more personal reflection on the life and legacy of the deceased, capturing the essence of their spirit and the impact they had on those around them.