Guide to Writing an Obituary

While there are no rules to writing an obituary, this outline will serve as a template for the information necessary to create one. You can modify as you feel necessary and one of our funeral directors will be more than happy to help you with this.


Proper name of the deceased, age, town of residence, spouse (if applicable), date of death and place of death (optional).

You can use nicknames, but should always include the proper name at least once, typically in the introduction. The prefix “the late” is a short way of saying that the spouse had died. Also, many people do not wish to use the word “died”, so you can choose the wording you feel to be appropriate.

Mary L. Smith, 89, of Fairfield, the beloved wife of the late Joseph Smith Sr., passed away peacefully on Monday, April 4, 2017 at the Ludlowe Heath Center.

You may then want to say when and where your loved one was born and parent’s names. Date of birth, place of birth, parent’s names.

Born in Bridgeport on December 26, 1924, she was the daughter of the late Stephen & Olga Perkins.


This is a brief paragraph (or two) about your loved one, often citing education, military history, employment and personal achievements. It is also helpful to include jobs, past residences or affiliations that readers may relate to your loved one. Another short paragraph can follow to describe personal interests, hobbies, volunteer information, etc.

Mary attended Ludlowe High School and served in the US Army as a nurse during World War II. She later worked for over 30 years for the Town of Fairfield in the Probate Office.

She was a volunteer at St. Thomas Aquinas Church and the Fairfield Senior Center. Mary also enjoyed reading, travelling and was a wonderful cook.


This is where you list the surviving family members. Proper names, spouses and towns or state of residence are included. Last names are option but typically used if a female relative has a different surname.

Mary is survived by loving sons, Joseph Jr. and his wife Margaret of Baltimore, MD and Peter and his wife Laura of Southbury; her devoted daughter, Maureen Connelly and her husband, John of Stratford; two grandsons, Joseph, III of Newport, RI and Martin of Shelton. She is also survived by her sister, Martha Wilson of Palm Bay, FL and 10 nieces and nephews.


List family member that died before your loved one.

In addition to her husband, Mary was predeceased by her brother, James and grandson, Louis.


Date, time and place of visitation, funeral or memorial service and burial location. Burial time is dependent on the length of services and cemeteries many times do not have an exact street number or address. Reception information is not usually publicly mentioned until the end of the services by the celebrant or funeral director.

Friends may greet her family on Friday, April 11, 2017 from 4:00 -7:00 a.m. at the Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, 50 Reef Road, Fairfield Center. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2017 at 10:00 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Fairfield. Interment with Military Honors will follow in St. Thomas Cemetery.

Memorial Contributions

If there was an organization special to your loved one, this is the place to list that information for contributions to be made in their memory. The complete mailing address should be included. It is optional whether or not to put “in lieu of flowers”.

Donations in Mary’s memory may be made to: The St. Thomas Building Fund, 1740 Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. To send an online condolence, please visit www.shaughnesseybanks.com.

***All obituaries should be e-mailed to the funeral home for submission.

***Please also call the funeral home when you send the e-mail, to ensure the funeral director received the obituary and can start submitting & confirming its placement in the requested newspapers.

The National Pursuit of Excellence Award honors professional integrity, outstanding community service, and high ethical standards among funeral directors. We are humbled to have been selected ten times by the National Funeral Directors Association to receive this prestigious award, placing us in the Hall of Excellence and at the forefront of funeral homes, Connecticut and beyond

Shaughnessey-Banks Funeral Home
Phone: (203) 255-1031
Email: sb@sbfairfield.com
50 Reef Road, Fairfield, CT 06824 

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