How to Write a Newspaper Memorial

A newspaper memorial shares more personal information than that of an obituary.

There is a difference between newspaper death notices, like an obituary and memorial. Generally, the obituary subscribes to the form and style determined by the media printing it and contains just basic information on the deceased. That can include the age and cause of death, as well as any burial info and where donations are appreciated. A memorial, by comparison, provides a more complete glimpse of the deceased's life and strives to capture those facts and nuances, That can list children and grandchildren by name, mention special friends, pets, religious beliefs, career achievements, favorite activities, and more. Most newspapers charge a higher fee for printing a memorial, although funeral homes and other handlers can help the bereaved in the process..

1 Gather Basic Information

2 Note died and verify the age

Note who died and verify the age at the time of death. List the cause of death, and whether it was sudden, an accident or resulted after a battle with terminal illness. Include the day, date -- with the year -- and place of the death.

3 Writing and is and offers personal choice

Writing where and how is optional and offers personal choice. For some survivors, it is important to detail whether the deceased expired at home, surrounded by friends and family, or in a hospital, receiving treatment by the best medical professionals.

4 Be held as well as whether there

List when and where funeral or memorial services will be held as well as whether there will be cremation or interment. If visitors will be received, list where and when that is allowed.

5 Gather Personal Information

6 Mention who preceded the deceased in death

Mention who preceded the deceased in death, with any details and descriptors surrounding that information. For instance, a person's parents might be described as loving or hardworking, etc.

7 Detail who survives the deceased

Detail who survives the deceased. In a memorial, survivors can be referred to in a more personal way. For instance, instead of simply naming the widowed wife, a description can be employed: his loving and faithful companion for 60 years. Rather than listing one great-grandchild as in an obit, a memorial may name that great-grandchild along with activities enjoyed by her and the deceased or other personal detail.

8 Reference what the deceased enjoyed

Reference what the deceased enjoyed, including those events/activities in which he participated and was particularly passionate about. That may include Bible study groups, civic organizations, or charitable groups, with extra info like he never missed weekly wresting on television or was an avid reader.

9 Say where the deceased lived

Say where the deceased lived, worked, and attended school. This aspect might also include where he enjoyed vacationing or his favorite places to visit. Consider describing how he made a difference in the lives of loved ones and why he will be missed. If this seems too personal, it can be omitted.

10 Write the Memorial

11 Refer to the newspaper's memorial policy

Refer to the newspaper's memorial policy by noting the deadline and possible word limit. Some policies also provide sample obits and memorials to help in the creation process. Explore the addition of a favorite photo of the deceased or the logo of a religious or fraternal icon.

12 Prepare the memorial

Prepare the memorial, starting with the basic information, and weaving in the personal data as previously detailed.

13 Complete the memorial

Complete the memorial with information about the funeral or memorial services, interment and any specifics about donations, flowers or other gifts. If visitation is allowed, list where and when the family will be receiving visitors. Submit the completed memorial to the newspaper following submission guidelines outlined in the company policy.

Ronna Pennington, an experienced newspaper writer and editor, began writing full-time in 1989. Her professional crafting experience includes machine embroidery and applique. When she's not repainting her den or making new holiday decorations, Ronna researches and writes community histories. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and an Master of liberal arts in history.