Basic Newspaper Obituary Template

Published July 15, 2020
Magnifying glass and obituaries advertisement on newspaper.

Newspapers often have a fill-in-the-blank template for a standard obituary notice. However, if your local paper does not have a template or if you'd like to write your own newspaper obituary for a loved one, using a basic template is a good way to get all the pertinent information into the notice.

Free Editable Newspaper Obituary Template

Use a basic fill-in-the-blank template to create a newspaper obituary when you aren't given a standard form to fill out. The template covers the basics, although you can make your own obituary based on it. Newspaper obituaries usually have a little more information than death notices do, but are still fairly short. Use Adobe to download and modify the template before printing it or emailing it to the newspaper.

Newspaper Obituary Sample Template

How to Personalize a Newspaper Obituary

Start with the basic template for the obituary, whether one you find online or you are given from the newspaper. Once you fill in the blanks, you can take it further and create an obituary that is as unique as your deceased loved one. Ways to do this include:

  • Adding details about your loved one's personality
  • Including a brief mention of a funny or meaningful story or saying
  • Discussing life events in more detail, such as volunteerism
  • Adding short obituary poems, verses, or quotes
  • Creating a longer life story than standard events and achievements

The obituary from the newspaper is often used as a starting point for longer obituaries that are in memorial and funeral programs.

Obituary Notice Fees

Most newspapers charge a flat rate fee for using either their template or for obituaries under a certain number of words. Additional fees may apply if you go over their word count or choose to use your own obituary format. However, some newspapers charge by the word or space. You will need to contact your local paper to find out what they charge.

Should I Include a Photograph?

When you call or stop by the newspaper office to inquire about placing an obituary, ask whether a photograph is included. If so, they may have guidelines (like size) that you need to follow. If there is a fee for inclusion, find out the difference pricing levels for size and color. Head-and-shoulder photographs are common when a picture is added to the newspaper obituary.

Share Your Loved One's Death With Community Members

While close family and friends are informed of the death of a loved one soon after his or her passing, extended community members may not be aware until after services are held. By placing an obituary in the newspaper, you make sure additional friends and community members know about your loved one's death.

Basic Newspaper Obituary Template