Difference Between a Death Notice and an Obituary

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

My husband is forever correcting people who call a "death notice" an "obituary." But people don't know, and he shouldn't try to hold them accountable when they don't work for a newspaper. Yet he is right, a death notice vs a obituary are two distinct types of published information in a newspaper about a person who has died. An "obit" is generally written by a staff member on the paper, and it's reserved for a person of distinction in the community or , in some cases, a celebrity.

My mother had an obit published after she died, and the reporter for the Star Tribune interviewed me. My father, on the other hand, did not. His horrid little family in Arizona didn't even tell his original family when he finally kicked the bucket. A death notice is a paid advertisement submitted and paid for by either the family of the deceased or a person close to the deceased, and often the funeral home will handle it.

You can read more about what just happened in my personal blog today and see photographs of Molokai in: Thoughts About the Tides of Molokai.

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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

Comments (14)

Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'm terribly sorry for your husband's loss and Lord knows I find out a lot of stuff on Facebook that I do not think should be announced on Facebook.  And it's not just a younger generation that seems to do it either. 

But ask your husband if they are NOT paid, but free and still not written by a staff member, but published under the "obituaries" headline are they still "death notices"  ?

Jan 04, 2015 05:15 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law.  What a crappy way to find out...via Facebook.  

Jan 04, 2015 08:47 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Tammy Lankford 

I should probably clarify that he is talking about major metropoplitan newspapers. Small town papers don't necessarily follow any kind of protocol.

And while I'm at it, clarifying that is, Chris Ann Cleland , I should also note that my recently deceased brother-in-law was not either of my husband's brothers. He was my husband's half-sister's husband. What a mouthful.

Jan 04, 2015 09:52 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I wanted to ask, but didn't know how.  Thanks for clarifying.  It's an awful thing when someone feels they need to end their own life premarturely.  

 

Jan 04, 2015 10:05 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Oh my goodness, that's sad news for Adam about his brother!  And, an odd way for him to find out about it!  It's social media on steroids!  

You are right about things you have discovered in the islands, the tides and stuff. There are places which possess a life rhythm to them, and other's that have their natural motion contained by concrete.   I like places where you can truly experience the sun coming up, and just as easily set naturally on the horizon.  Places where waters ebb and flow at the pull of the moon's command!

Jan 04, 2015 12:27 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

I personally am a people person and would not take to the life on an island.  We all need alone time but it is just how you define alone time.  Where you are at it would be good for a day or two.  After that I would want back into the thick of things

Jan 04, 2015 07:22 PM
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Elizabeth.  How can a leather-clad strapped be a bare butt?                         

 

  

Jan 04, 2015 07:50 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Elizabeth, please give my condolences to your husband.  Hope this doesn't depress your vacation.

Jan 04, 2015 08:27 PM
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Elizabeth, I was going along on your post, the ebb and flow of the sea, yin and yang, the rhythm of nature.....then bam! a shocking ending.  I imagine shocking like reading such news on facebook. My heart goes out to his family and friends who knew him-

Jan 04, 2015 11:18 PM
Pat McCormick
Long and Foster Manassas - Manassas, VA

Elizabeth - I'm sorry to hear of your husband's family's loss.  Facebook is not a good medium to hear such news, in my opinion.

Jan 05, 2015 02:18 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Myrl Jeffcoat It wasn't my husband's brother, Myrl. It was his half-sister's husband. So, a little bit removed but still family.

James Dray Island life is not for everybody. My husband, for example, has little groove in his soul for the islands.

Conrad Allen Yeah, yeah, I suppose you're one of those guys who think a thong is a swimsuit.

Jan 05, 2015 03:23 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Gabe Sanders Well, it did inspire today's blog about death, which you should find amusing:

Mary Douglas I didn't know where I was going with the blog about the tides either until I got to the end of it. Sometimes, that's how writing works. I just go with the flow.

Pat McCormick Teenagers, whaddya gonna do?

 

Jan 05, 2015 03:28 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I certain wrongly assumed the relationship with that one, Elizabeth!  Sad news still!

Jan 05, 2015 03:33 AM
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Only on a Barbie doll

Jan 05, 2015 04:56 AM