If you’ve recently lost your father or a father figure in your life, you might wonder who should write his obituary. Often, the family will choose someone, such as a close relative or friend, but other times, the deceased may have already delegated someone to do it.
It’s not uncommon for a son or daughter to take on the responsibility. If that’s the case for you, this guide will cover how to write an obituary for your dad including sample obituaries for fathers.
You’ll also find sample obituaries for stepfathers and even grandfathers. At the bottom, you’ll also find a basic outline to help you put together a thoughtful, meaningful, and personal tribute..
What do you say in a father’s obituary?
An obituary often follows a specific format. Starting with the basic information about your dad and his death, you can then follow it with details on his life and maybe even include the things that were important to him. Typically, you end the obituary with the details on any additional services that will be held to honor his life.
How to write an obituary for your father
Before jumping into obituary examples for your father, let’s discuss some ways to organize your article. Here are five basic pieces of information to include in the obituary:
1. Announce the death
When writing an obituary, the first sentence will typically announce your father’s death. It usually includes his full name, age, place of residence, and date of his death.
Theodore J. Frank, (57), of San Diego, California, passed away on June 4, 2022.
If you’d like, you can include details of the death, but it’s not required.
Theodore J. Frank, (57), of San Diego, California, suffered a heart attack and passed away on June 4, 2022, surrounded by friends and family.
2. Write a brief biography
In the next section, include biographical details about his life. You can provide information about his place and date of birth, education, career, personal accomplishments, and hobbies. For instance, maybe he was the star quarterback in college or a well-known leader in the community.
Theodore, fondly known as Teddy, was born to Samuel and Susan Frank, on January 3, 1965, in Phoenix, Arizona. He was a talented athlete who loved playing sports and received a full-ride baseball scholarship to San Diego State University. After graduating, Teddy started his own landscaping business, but he enjoyed spending his free time coaching the local Little League team and teaching his sons how to play ball.
3. Add family information
In the family portion of the obituary, list the names of those closely related to your father. This can include those still living and those who have passed away.
Teddy is survived by his wife Linda and three children, Don, Joe, and Mark. He is also survived by his sister, Joan Wish, and her partner, Derrick Wish, along with his nephews Logan and Rob Wish. Teddy was predeceased by his parents, Samuel and Susan.
4. Include personal details
If you’re wondering how to write a heartfelt obituary, you might decide to include some personal details. For example, maybe you want to highlight your father’s vibrant personality or describe your favorite memory of him in this section. There are no rules to follow — simply write from your heart.
Aside from his love for baseball, Teddy was passionate about giving back. He was always the first to sign up for a volunteering event or donate to a fundraiser. From leading beach clean-ups and feeding the homeless to fostering senior dogs, Teddy positively impacted our community, and he will be truly missed.
5. Disclose funeral arrangements
When it comes to figuring out what to say in your father’s obituary, consider adding information about the funeral or memorial services so guests can attend and pay their respects. Be sure to include the time, date, location, and any other details, such as whether you’d like guests to donate to a specific organization in lieu of sending flowers.
Teddy’s family will host a funeral service on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. The service will be at Seaside Church in San Diego. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Heart Association in Teddy’s name.
7 meaningful obituary examples for a father
Above we provided an obituary template outlining each section, but you’re probably interested in some more examples of obituaries for fathers. After all, there are many different kinds of fathers out there, from stepdads to father figures, which might influence what you’d like to include in your message.
For inspiration, check out our list of obituary samples for fathers to help find one that best matches your relationship.
- For a father
Derrick held many titles in his life, from artist to entrepreneur, but his favorite role was being a father. He loved nothing more than spending time with his adult children, Lynn and Brent. He was always there for them, whether he was helping them prepare for a job interview or cheering them on at their collegiate basketball games.
- For a stepfather
Vernon came into his stepchildren’s lives when they were teenagers, but they quickly formed an unbreakable bond. He was their number one fan, always there to offer his love, support, and encouragement. In fact, they even nicknamed him Big V, in reference to his big heart.
- For a father figure
Jacob never had children of his own, but he was a proud uncle to six nieces and nephews who meant the world to him. He loved nothing more than attending their sporting events and dance recitals, taking them on camping trips, and spoiling them with his famous chocolate chip cookies.
- For a father who passed away unexpectedly
While John left us far too soon, the impact he had on our community will be felt for years to come. His mission was to end childhood hunger in San Diego, as he partnered with local farms, co-ops, and schools to help put food on the table for children in need. His daughters, Rachel and Lucy, plan to continue his legacy in his name.
- For a young father
Sadly, Chris only had a few years to enjoy with his two children, but he made sure to make the most of that special time. From teaching Greg to swim in the backyard pool to helping Joyce learn her tap-dance routine, his children will treasure those memories of him forever.
- For a father who battled an illness
Albert fought his battle against leukemia for six long years. Despite spending much of that time in and out of the hospital, he never lost his sense of humor. Throughout his entire journey, he cracked jokes with his grown children, made silly faces with his grandchildren, and even pulled some light-hearted pranks on the nurses. He had a great ability to make others smile and his sense of humor will be missed.
- For a grandfather
Alistair, fondly known as Grandpa Al, doted on his three grandchildren, Riley, Beth, and Jody. He especially adored hosting elaborately themed movie nights, where he would dress in character and decorate the playroom. His grandkids loved spending time with their Grandpa Al and will truly miss him.
While these are just a handful of examples of touching obituaries, you have the freedom to write a thoughtful tribute to your father however you’d like. Follow our guidelines and examples for inspiration and speak from your heart, and you’re sure to create a beautiful tribute to honor your father.
Read more: First Father’s Day without Dad: 7 ways to honor his legacy