How to Make an Obituary Using Microsoft Word

A long, memorable life can never be summarized in a few brief words. However, a life filled with hope, ambitions, defeats and memories can be remembered and honored in an obituary. An obituary is the writer’s way of acknowledging the deceased and their life history. With research, time and accuracy, an obituary can shed light on someone’s life. Your personal computer can act as a resource in making an obituary by using Microsoft Word.

Open Microsoft Word. Type the word “obituary” into the Microsoft Word search engine. A list of topics will appear on the right side of your blank document. Move the mouse to topic titled “Funeral Planning Checklist” and left click the mouse. Proceed to download the checklist.

Open the “Funeral Planning Checklist” and begin to complete the information in the first section titled “Notify.” Here you may enter notes about the deceased's doctor or hospice nurse, coroner, funeral home, clergy, relatives, friends, executor of will, insurance company information and policy number, bank account number(s), public utility companies, post office, Social Security office and the deceased's social security number. If you are unable to complete this section of the checklist, do the research as soon as possible.

Scroll down to the section titled “Funeral Decisions.” This area requests information such as the names of pallbearers, funeral service time and location, clergy and readings chosen for the funeral. Feel free to call possible pallbearers while you are filling out the checklist. Add their names to the list. Ask your clergyman and guest speakers what readings they plan to use on the day of the funeral.

Next scroll down to the section titled “Information for Obituary.” This area requests the deceased date of death and birth, age, marital status, place of birth, education, cause of death, names of parent(s), spouse, children and other survivors. This section may be the easiest to complete, especially if the funeral arrangements have yet to be determined.

Save the funeral checklist and begin to write the obituary. The obituary should be a compelling story of the deceased life. Try to include achievements and honors, job promotions, interesting personality traits and physical characteristics such as “beautiful,” “gorgeous smile,” “handsome” or “dapper.”

While telling the story, include special thanks to people who have contributed to the deceased's life, for instance a mentor, parent, church leader or friend. Be sure to add the name and address of any organization the deceased would have liked donations sent to. For instance, the S.P.C.A., a college fund, a health organization or the deceased’s family for funeral expenses are all acceptable causes.

Save the obituary by clicking on the “File” button. Click “Save As.” Go to the drop down bar marked “Save In” and choose the folder or path where you wish to save the obituary. Type the word “Obituary” or the deceased's name in the space marked “File name” and click save. Later, print the document or email it to your local newspaper.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Tomiko "Tomi" Cary has been writing articles online since 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and journalism from William Paterson University. Cary also attended New York University's Journalism Program, where she received a Professional Studies Certificate of Completion. She blogs food reviews for SeamlessWeb.