Anyone who has ever written an obituary will tell you that summing up a person’s life is a tough job, made more so because the person who knows the most about the deceased is no longer around when it’s written. What I do is help people write their own  “pre-need obituaries.” By preparing your own obit, you can shape your story, instead of letting others guess how you would like to be remembered. On the other hand, you could just let your children have the last word.

Since you’re only going to get to do this once, let me help you do it right. My approach is to write about the interesting and meaningful aspects of a person’s life. And, who knows better than you the things you’ve done, including the unusual events, humorous incidents, and little quirks that make you, well . . . you. I’ll help you remember and express these with a little whimsy, leavened with discretion.

Waiting until you’ve departed means that one of your family, friends or colleagues will be appointed to hurriedly cobble something together, usually while in shock over your demise. If you’ve ever been involved in writing a loved one’s obituary, you have surely wondered what the deceased would want said. At the same time you may have felt pressure to include what some family members believed important, while others begged to differ.

Families with whom I’ve worked appreciated knowing the deceased’s wishes and are truly grateful to be relieved of the awesome responsibility of paying tribute to a life.

Does this mean they can have no input? That’s entirely up to you. I recommend allowing latitude for the family to update and add to your suggested obit. But, you’re free to leave whatever instructions you wish.

My fees are reasonable. I charge $100 an hour with the total cost usually running $250 to $500. Of course, exaggerations and fabrications might be extra.

Here are several examples of my work:

Obit 1       Obit 2        Obit 3      Obit 4

You can contact me at: or at 615-838-3566.

He avoids the sterile and over-solemn tone of most obituaries, and gives the reader

a personal and human glimpse into the decedent’s life. 

                               Tom Angland, M.F.A.


My family was very pleased with how Richard captured my father’s life.-  Amy K., Nashville, TN

Pre-Need Obituaries