How do you list a person's parents in their obituary if their parents have divorced and remarried?

In all of the obituaries I have seen, the parents are usually listed something like this: "John was born in Charlotte, NC on May 5, 1936, to William Robert and Susan Frances Jones Smith."

But what if William and Susan divorced, and Susan married a guy named Jim Johnson? Should the obituary then read: "John was born in Charlotte, NC on May 5, 1936, to William Robert Smith and Susan Frances Jones Johnson."? That sounds like John's parents weren't married to each other when he was born.

Has anyone had to write an obituary like this? Do you know of a better way to do this? Please let me know. Thank you!

5 Answers

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You could say "John was born to William Robert and Susan Jones Smith on May 5, 1936." Then when they list the rest of the family say, "He is survived by his parents as well as his stepfather Jim Johnson."

    These days it's so common for people to divorce and have stepparents and stepsiblings. When you say who the person was born to, that clarifies that those are the parents regardless of what their current last name is.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Often survivors are listed: John Smith is survived by his mother, Mary Jones, and his father Paul Smith.

    Or ....he is survived by his mother, Mary Jones and step father John Jones, and his father Paul Smith and step-mother Judy Smith.

    The newspapers, and the mortuaries can help with the wording best suited to your situation and locale. Listing siblings, and step-siblings also complicates things, as does (in some situations) special friends.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yeah, in this day and age people understand that divorces happen. That sounds fine to me.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the newspapers should write that for you, you just give them the info

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    ...or you can just say - he was predeceased by his parents and... ---or---

    he is survived by his parents, and....

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.