How to Write an Obituary for a Father
When it comes to writing obituaries, it can be hard to know where to start. Writing an obituary for your father can offer its own set of difficulties. Fathers play such important roles in their family’s lives -- how can you possibly sum all of that up in a few sentences? Here's where to start when it comes to how to write an obituary for your father.
What kind of information should you include in an obituary for a father?
Generally, you should include the following information in an obituary:
- Parents' Names
- Spouse's Name (if applicable)
- Children's Names (if applicable)
This type of information is standard to include in an obituary and helps provide a factual account of the individual’s life. Other biographical information that’s typically included is information on education, occupations, and any military service. When writing an obituary for a father, you’ll also want to focus on other aspects of his life that were particularly important to you (and your family).
What else should I say about my father in his obituary?
Include a brief overview and description of his life. The overview can be as in depth or brief as you’d like it to. The overview can be simply a statement of facts or it can be touching and descriptive. If you need to be mindful of length (which is applicable if you have to publish the obituary in a newspaper), you may want to avoid going into too much detail. You’ll always have the option to post a fuller obituary online or to share more about his life during the eulogy or memorial service.
It can help to begin by listing out details about your father’s life and what his impact was on those around him. Paying special attention to the way your father impacted others, such as your family, friends, and larger community can help you begin to put the pieces together. If your father had any lessons, values, or words he lived by, you could include these in the obituary as well.
In addition, including information about his passions, hobbies, and interests can help tell the story of your dad’s life. If your dad wasn’t a big hobbyist or you’re having difficulty coming up with favorite passions of his, here are some questions that can help guide you:
- Where were his favorite places to vacation? Why?
- Was he a part of any local community organizations or clubs? What made them special?
- Was he a part of any religious organizations? What made his religion important to him?
- Did he start or maintain any family traditions around birthdays or the holidays?
- Were there any subjects he studied or pursued throughout his life?
Here’s more information you can include that’s separate from typical biographical information:
- His interests and hobbies
- Any organizations he belonged to or volunteered for
- His sayings, words of wisdom, or values he imparted
- His relationship with his friends, family and community
- His favorite places to travel, things to make, food to eat or things to do
- Other aspects of his life that you felt made him special and unique
Important tips when writing an obituary for a father
At this point, you should have some information that you’re ready to start putting together in the form of an obituary. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you start writing an obituary for your father: Try to keep the tone in mind. Was your father funny? Serious? Lyrical? Writing an obituary that matches this style can personalize the obituary. Acknowledge his accomplishments and interests outside of fatherhood. Describe activities and hobbies he was proud of or interested in. If you have to publish the obituary in a newspaper, be mindful of length. Many newspapers charge by the line, so an obituary of just 4-5 sentences can cost you hundreds of dollars. Don’t forget to include information about any services (or if there’s no services, include that as well).
Sample obituary for fathers
For an example of how to write an obituary for your father, you can reference the sample below:
Jon Menken, 72, of Columbus, OH, passed away on December 1st after a brief battle with pneumonia.
Jon was born on November 3rd, 1949 to Jon and Marion Menken in Minneapolis. After graduating from Eastview High in 1965, he went on to study Art History at Ohio State University.
After graduation, he got his first job as a historian for the Art & History Museum in Columbus. He loved it and would end up staying with the museum for over 20 years, rising through the ranks the entire time. It was at this time that he met and fell in love with Caitlyn. They were married in 1974 and were with each other through all of life's ups and downs.
Jon and Caitlyn would go on to have 2 children, Marion and Mariah. Jon was a wonderful and devoted father, husband and teacher. He always taught us to stand tall, be proud, and know ourselves in all situations and supported us all throughout the many accomplishments and difficulties of our lives. When Jon wasn't working in the archives of the museum, he could be found flyfishing and painting. An avid painter, Jon dedicated much of his time to experimenting with different styles of painting and reading about the greats.
Jon was predeceased by his parents, Jon and Marion Menken. He is survived by his wife, Caitlyn; his children, Marion and Mariah; and many grandchildren.
The family requests that donations be made to the Art & History Museum of Columbus, of which Jon was a member. There will be a memorial service at Greenhold Park on December 9th at 10 AM.
Here is the template, which you can edit and use as you see fit:
[Full name], [age], of [place of residence], passed away on [date of death] after [cause of death].
[First name] was born on [date and year of birth] to [parents] in [city of birth]. After graduating from [name of high school] in [high school graduation year], he went on to study [college major] at [college name].
After graduation, he got his first job as a [job title] for [company]. He loved it and would end up staying with [company] for [number] years, rising through the ranks the entire time. It was at this time that he met and fell in love with [spouse's name]. They were married in [year] and were with each other through all of life's ups and downs.
[First name and spouse's first name] would go on to have [number] children, [names of children]. [First name] was a wonderful and devoted father, husband and teacher. He always taught us to [life lesson] and supported us all throughout the many accomplishments and difficulties of our lives. When [first name] wasn't working in [location], he could be found [describe hobby]. An avid [hobby name], [First name] dedicated much of his time to [description related to hobby].
[First name] was predeceased by [list of family members who have passed away]. He is survived by [list of family members who are still alive].
The family requests that donations be made to [organization name], of which [first name] was a member. There will be a [funeral service/memorial/celebration of life] at [date & time] at [location].
If you’re looking more obituary examples for fathers, you can more on this list of obituary templates. These templates come with both the template and the sample obituary for fathers so that you can see what it’d look like with the template filled in. If you’d like real-world obituary samples for fathers, check out this article on examples of obituaries that have been posted to Ever Loved.
When you’re ready to post an obituary for your dad, publishing an obituary for free using Ever Loved is easy. Ever Loved obituaries come with tons of other features, such as the ability to post and collect condolences, start a fundraiser, share event information, and much more -- all for free.