How do I include a previously passed away spouse in obituary

6 years, 6 months ago

My father has just passed away and I am charged with writing his obituary.  In his life time his had 3 spouses the first the mother of his 2 children but they divorced after 14 years but she passed away a few years ago.  His 2nd wife he was married to for 27 years and although they did not have children she had 2 children from a previous marriage and he was for all intents and purposes grandfather to their children, that wife passed away 15 years ago and then he married his 3rd wife who again no children together but grandchildren and she even had great grand children they were only married 13 years at time of his passing.  How do i include everyone and not offend her?  I know it is unusual to list previous spouses let alone previous spouses who have passed away but it does not seem right to not.  I want my mom because I want it clear that my brother and I were the product of their marriage and not others, and his second wife was the love of his life how do I not include that part of him but his 3rd wife took care of him in the end, I am so not sure how to do this.

This is what I was thinking:

preceded in death by parents and some siblings and the former wife and mother of his children “lll” and wife “hjkl”.

then under survived by

his current wife, his children, his step children (all of them listed in one grouping?) and then siblings

for grandchildren I was thinking just putting a grand total number or should I list them all and which lifetime they belonged to?


Thank you in advance for help I am just tortured trying to do the right thing by all of them and properly honor him as well.


Jennifer Lane
6 years, 6 months ago

First, I am so sorry for the loss of your father. I know this is a difficult time for you and your family.

As for your obituary questions, you have the right idea in how you have planned to include everyone. I am copying what you wrote and making a few changes (using letters to indicate where names should be):

He was preceded in death by his parents A and B; his siblings, C, D, and E; his former wives, F (mother of his children “lll” and wife “hjkl”) and G.

He is survived by his wife H; his children I and J; his step-children K, L, and M; and his siblings N, O and P.

You can certainly just state the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. You do not need to name them.

I hope this helps – we wish you peace and comfort in the days ahead as you get through this trying time.

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