How to write an obituary for your grandfather

Funeral Planning
A little boy and elderly woman appear in the foreground, looking at the camera, but between them a short distance away, sits an elderly man in profile, looking at something else.

For many of us, the first time we experience the death of a loved one is when one of our grandparents pass away. As sad as this event is, it's important to remember that death is part of the natural life cycle. Of course, this doesn't take away the pain we feel when our grandfather dies.

Grandfathers are often like a second dad to us. Your grandfather probably spent time with you doing things that you and him both enjoyed, whether it was teaching you how to fish or helping him finish crossword puzzles in his morning newspaper. Using his decades' worth of experiences in life, your grandpa guided you when you had to navigate turbulent times. We owe a lot to our grandfathers, so it is an honor to write an obituary for them.

Usually, it is your parents or aunts and uncles who would write the online obituary, because they are the children of your grandpa. However, there might be times when you are the one tasked with this somber but very important process.

If you've never written an online obituary before and don't know where to start, we've outlined the basic structure for you. We also included tips that will make the online obituary for your beloved grandparents the best it can be.

The basics

To start, write down basic information about your grandfather such as:

  • his complete name

  • date and place of birth

  • date and place of passing

  • age at passing

  • place of residence

  • partner's name.

Double-check dates and places. Make sure that spelling is correct. You can also add a bit of character with personal details, such as:

  • nicknames

  • names of children and grandchildren

  • key personality traits

  • hobbies and achievements of note.

Include a brief biography

Your grandfather's life was unique. This part of the obituary is where you let your grandfather's singular personality and legacy shine. Provide a brief biography about his life, including:

  • major life events

  • contributions and causes

  • profession or trade

  • the lives he touched

  • close friends and colleagues

  • funny habits or quirks.

Service information

If you're writing the online obituary before their funeral, provide the important details about the service. You might like to consider adding the:

  • name of the funeral home and contact number

  • place of service

  • date and time of visitation

  • any special program for the deceased

  • officiant's name (if applicable).

However, if you're creating the online obituary after your beloved grandfather's funeral, you can skip this section.

Add a special message

Last, but not least, you can add a special message for or about your grandpa. As the editor of their online obituary, you can choose to write it in first-person or from a third-person perspective. It's up to you to choose which tone is more appropriate or intimate.

You can talk about fond memories of your grandfather. Don't be afraid to write something humorous or quirky for as long as it's appropriate for an obituary. Although online obituaries are serious, your grandfather's doesn't have to be somber or heavy.

Obituaries are meant to outline the remarkable life and personality of your grandfather, but perhaps the most lasting way to do that clearly is with a Memories online memorial. Include your obituary there, along with other memories from his life.

When you've finished drafting the obituary, consider having other family members read it before you publish it. That way, you can make sure that everyone's happy with the obituary, and how it serves to represent your incredible grandfather.