How do we write an obituary for a parent who has multiple spouses to account for?

Forums User
11 years, 2 months ago

My father will soon pass away and we are writing his obituary. He has a present wife of 44 years with 2 children a second wife with 4 children and his first wife with 8 children. Can you please help me on how to write

We will be naming all the children with their names and spouse from youngest to oldest. This decision was made since he was married the longest to his present wife. All the children have a great relationship. We just do not know how to word this. We do not want to confuse his friends with them thinking that his first wife had 14 children when he only had two. Your prompt response is appreciated. Thank you very much.


Jennifer Lane
11 years, 2 months ago

Hi Alice-

I am very sorry to hear that your father is near his end, and I do understand this is a difficult time for you. I would suggest that you list each spouse with their children, starting with the current wife and ending with the 1st wife.

For example:

…Richard is survived by his wife, Susie, (this would be the current wife) and their 2
children, Jane Smith and her husband Joe, Jimmy Jones and his wife Sarah; his second
wife, Mary, and their 4 children, (list names); his first wife, Ann, and their
8 children, (list names).

If any of the wives are deceased, you could state it this way:

….Richard is survived by his wife, Susie and their 2 children (list names); his 4 children (list names) from his second wife, Mary; his 8 children (list names) from his first wife, Ann.

You do not have to state the number of children with each wife if you do not wish to – you could simply say “his children”.

Forums User
11 years ago

Dear Jennifer,
Thank you so much for your help. Your promptness was amazing. I continue to educate myself with your wonderful website. So happy to know it exist and I will recommend it to all.

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