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Obituaries and Death Notices

When someone dies in America it is common practice for the family to place a notice of death in the newspaper. Usually this costs money. If the person is prominent, the newspaper might write a short editorial article about them (an “obituary” or “obit”). Both death notices and obituaries may announce the time and place of funeral services.

The following is typical wording of a paid death notice: BROWN, MARY, age 86 of Springfield, passed away peacefully on April 2, 2006. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Charles; and three sisters. Loving mother of William Brown and Alice Westerfield. Dear sister of Jane (Kendrick) Miller. Cherished grandmother of Amy, Jason, Ashley and Brandon. The family will receive friends in celebration of Mary’s life at the Jameson Funeral Home, 6357 Elm Avenue, Springfield on Friday from 2-4pm and 6-8pm where Funeral Services will be held at 8pm. Interment at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Springfield Hills.

An editorial obituary might read as follows: John “Johnnie” Johnson, a prominent tennis player in the during the 1930s, died yesterday at the age of 92 after a short illness. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, Johnson was educated at Iowa State University before beginning his professional tennis career, at one time ranking second among American male players. During the Second World War, he served on a United States Navy minesweeper in the Atlantic. He later worked for many years as a tennis professional, teacher and coach. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, three children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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