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New Hampshire Union Leader obituary style and rules

Submission of obituaries

The obituary deadline is 6:30 p.m. Sunday through Friday for the Union Leader and 5 p.m. on Saturday for the Sunday News.

All obituaries should be emailed to Typed, double-spaced obits should be hand-delivered or faxed to (603) 668-0382 only when absolutely necessary.

Funeral homes should always call our obituary editor, after 2 p.m., at (603) 668-4321 to make sure an obituary has been received.

Standard obituaries

Standard obituaries run in all statewide editions, our electronic edition and on through our association with The first 5 inches (approximately 120 words) in a standard obituary is free and should include basic details such as where the deceased was born, hometown, place of death, parents' names, military service, schooling and career, as well as the names of close relatives. After the first 5 inches, exclusive of services information, each additional inch will be billed at $40 per column inch.

Brief details on calling hours and funeral arrangements - preceded by the word SERVICES - are added to the end of most obituaries. The charge to list services is $75.

A photo may be included for a charge of $50. Photos that will not print in acceptable quality when cropped into a head-and-shoulders format cannot be used.

Digital images should be emailed to as a 5x7 jpeg file at 200 dpi. If a family wants a “hard-copy” photo to be returned, please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

In all obituaries, personal information and details on services are edited for grammar, spelling and newspaper style.

Obituaries run just once in full. Many families choose to publish a brief second-day notice repeating key funeral information from an obituary or family notice for $40 per column inch.

Obituaries guidelines

Most obituaries have one-column, name-only headlines. A larger headline may be appropriate for a person of statewide prominence or whose death is reported on a news page in that edition.

If a person is far more identifiable by a nickname than a given name, that informal name may be used in the headline.

Datelines usually identify the town or city where the deceased resided. However, upon request, the dateline can reflect a person's address before admission to a nursing home elsewhere.

When New Hampshire or another state has been identified by the dateline, the state will not be named again unless necessary to avoid confusion.

The lead paragraph of every obituary should include the following:

Name and age – Full given name, nickname in quotes if applicable, middle name or initial, maiden name in parentheses if applicable, last name, age. Editors should include a military title if requested, even for those long retired.

Address – Last address or address before admission to health care facility, followed by date and place of death.

Cause of death – If included, this can be general or specific according to the wishes of the family and funeral home – “after a long illness” or “after a long battle with lung cancer” – but under no circumstance will inaccurate information be printed.

The second paragraph should include the deceased's date and place of birth. It may include parents' names, whether alive or not.

This section of an obituary will often include schools, jobs, military service, places of residence, affiliations and volunteer activities, or retirement information. When possible, events or accomplishments should be listed in chronological order.

Women will be listed as Mrs. John (Mary) Smith only if the funeral home indicates that style is preferred.

A small image of an American flag will be added to the obituary of any veteran of the U.S. military at no charge.

Other Images

Other images denoting organizations, religion or activities that were important to the deceased are available for $25 each. There is a limit of two per obituary. Some examples are shown.


Services and related information should be listed in chronological order. This may include calling hours, a memorial service or funeral, perhaps with a procession, burial, memorial donations, and the name of the funeral home involved. If there are no calling hours or public services, it is best to say so.

Memorial donations must be directed to an institution with financial accountability such as a bank, church or charity. Donations cannot be directed to a family member unless through a trustee such as an attorney, trust fund or scholarship fund.

Many funeral homes offer online services such as memorial books, forms for condolence messages, maps, and so forth. All such references will be standardized as follows: “For more information, go to”

Funeral homes may include a logo for $25.

Second-day notices

Second-day notices allow the concise republication of key funeral information from an earlier day's standard obituary or family notice. These notices begin with the name of the deceased (in capital letters), age, address, date of death and services information.

A second-day notice carries a charge of $40 per column inch.

Occasionally, a second-day notice may include new information that was unavailable or omitted from the initial obituary.

“NH Deaths” listings

The daily and weekly “NH Deaths” listings include the following information: name (with maiden name in parentheses if available), age, address, date of death. There is no charge for this listing.


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