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Obituary Policies

The Provost News welcomes well thought out stories of a person who has ties to the community and recently died.

The News has over the decades printed obituaries at its time and expense and continues to offer that service free of charge when space is available and under certain conditions. Some newspapers charge for obituaries and have for many years.

Effective November 21, 2007 these policies are to be followed:

  • Any obituaries longer than 600 words will not be accepted.
  • All information sent to The Provost News is subject to normal newspaper editing.
  • We will no longer accept handwritten obituaries.
  • All obituaries are to be e-mailed to: news@provostnews.ca
  • With a c.c. e-mailed to: rcholmes@agt.net
  • (These e-mail addresses can usually be found near the top left hand corner on page 2 in our newspaper.)
  • Do not use attachments for the obituary. Send the message only as plain text in the regular body of an e-mail letter just as if you were e-mailing to a friend.
  • A non-copyrighted photograph scanned at high resolution can be sent as a JPEG file. If a digital picture exists (scanning not required), that can be e-mailed. Do not size or alter the photo. If the picture is copyrighted it is up to the person before sending it to The News to obtain permission to use it, from anyone who may hold a copyright on that image (normally that is granted; if it is not, don’t e-mail or bring it to us). Any copyrighted photos (usually marked on front or back of the picture) should include a footnote stating in fact if permission has been received.
  • A close-up picture held by the family to be submitted should be fine if it is clear and in focus.
    If a colour photo is requested to be printed, there will be a $50 charge for that, otherwise it will be reproduced in black and white. Tell us if a picture has been sent in case we do not see it and would assume one has not been sent. If you mail or bring us a photo, we can scan it.
  • All death notices and obituaries become the property of © The Provost News and may be republished in any format by the newspaper.
  • Although a eulogy read at a service may be the basis for a newspaper article, often it should be re-written specifically for that use. Do not just e-mail the original eulogy as it will likely have to be edited.

• Guidelines and Suggestions

Because writing an obituary may be the final opportunity you will have to pay tribute to a deceased loved one we are offering helpful suggestions:

  • The story should highlight the person’s life more so than a long list of names of those left behind, other than the immediate family like spouse, children (names of parents may be listed) and siblings. Do not include names of nieces and nephews, grandchildren or great-grandchildren which will not be listed unless they are the only survivors. Also, special friends of the deceased should not be listed as survivors; the exception will be the listing of one significant other of the deceased.
  • Include such information as the age, where and when the deceased was born, married, where the deceased grew up and education, what towns or cities he or she may have lived at. Include interests, type of employment, or work at home, what made them special like achievements, memberships in clubs or societies, as well as any honors they may have received, hobbies or unusual adventures that person may have experienced. You could include church or volunteer work and for how long or what they contributed.
  • Include where and when the person died and when and where the funeral and interment was, and similar basic information, keeping in mind certain details like this often wind up in scrapbooks and become a part of family and general history. Don’t call him “Dad” use his proper name. Don’t use “us” or “we”—say who us and we are, e.g. the family. Don’t include private memories of the deceased as recalled by a third party. Only immediate family—spouse, parents, children, siblings and grandchildren should be considered to be listed under “preceded in death.”
  • We want to extend the family some leeway in what they may submit about their loved one, but writing a message to the deceased is not appropriate in a news obituary. Example: Instead of “Theodore, we miss your beautiful smile,” the family might instead write: “Theodore warmed his family’s hearts with his beautiful smile.”
  • The “Rev. Doe” is not sufficient. We need the “Rev. John Doe”. Replace “Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Smith” with “Reginald and Mary Smith.” Also, please do not list unborn children in the survivor list. Instead, in the family statement, say something like: “Charles was looking forward to the birth of his third grandchild in December.”
  • Acronyms: Unless the acronym is universally known (RCMP, CIBC), please spell it out. If we don’t know what the letters stand for, most of our readers won’t either.
  • Flowery language such as: resided, united in marriage, this union was blessed with, etc., will be taken out.
    Honorary bearers, organist and soloist will not be listed.
  • Do not include poetry. Do not include where donations may be made. Do not include thank you messages in the obituary. Thank you messages or “Cards of Thanks” may be printed in the paper at current rates. Please inquire if interested. For classified ordering you can also go to: https://www.secure-one.com/secure_provost/Inmemoriam.php or call our office for paid display message (with a border and larger headline) rates 780-753-2564.
  • Be respectful. Off-colour words or language will not be printed.
  • Check all spellings including names for accuracy, then re-read your submission carefully to see all information is correct before e-mailing.
  • Include the name and daytime phone number of the person e-mailing the obituary.
  • After the e-mail has been sent, phone The News to see if it has actually been received, 780-753-2564.
  • Please do not demand when a free obituary is to be printed. We know that it is important and will do our best to get it in as soon as we can.
  • If the family wants a longer obituary, or one that is not subject to normal newspaper editing, space can be purchased in the newspaper at current rates (780-753-2564)
  • Some families decide to go this route and we can help arrange that as well. These also should be e-mailed.
    Profanity or off-color language will not be permitted in free or paid messages in this newspaper.

• Sample Obituary

This a sample obituary. It is not for a real person and never was printed as a real obituary in The Provost News.

'Bill' Smith, 63
Laid to Rest
Former Provost resident William John “Bill” Smith, 63, died September 16, 2000, at his home in Kenora, Ontario.
A service was held Friday at Fisher Funeral Home in Kenora, Ontario. Burial took place at West Ontario Cemetery.

Bill was born January 25, 1937, in Provost, Alta., to John F. and Lydia M. (Merrill) Smith.

He graduated from Provost High School in 1955. He married Colleen LaCarte on June 10, 1966, in Camrose.

He came to Edmonton in the 1950s while serving in the Canadian Army as a communications technician. After his discharge, he was employed by Nova as an engineer technologist for 28 years, retiring in 1987. He coached Little League baseball for 10 years and also taught English night classes to foreign students.

He had lived in Alberta for 35 years and moved to Kenora in 1990.

In retirement, he enjoyed golf and especially travelling with his wife to warmer countries when they could during their winter holidays.

Bill was a member of Royal Canadian Legion and the Canadian Association of Retired Persons.

His family wrote: “Bill’s generosity and kind heart were an inspiration to all who knew him. He lived his life with integrity and bravery.”

He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Michelle and Roger Connor of Camrose; son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Carol Smith of Yellowknife, NWT; brother, Leroy Smith of Provost, and sister, Wilma MacLeroy of Victoria, B.C. and four grandchildren.

Mr. Smith was preceded in death by his wife, Colleen; an infant child; and his brother, Paul.

Kenora Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements for the funeral that took place at Kenora. Interment followed at the Wesley Cemetery.

This is a sample obituary. It is not for a real person and never was printed as a real obituary in The Provost News.

• Related information:

Please do not ask us to search for or locate an old obituary. It is very time consuming. You may however arrange to look through our records during certain days. Because of the age and condition of some papers, they actually rip when the pages are being turned, and so are not available to the public. Some Provost News pages are on microfilm and you can spend time looking (at no cost) through those files if you arrange a day in advance with us. There is a limited directory on our website of certain deaths recorded (not obituaries) at For The Record; go to: provostnews.ca/thenews/records/

• In Memoriams

Memoriams may be written to any length, edited and designed as families choose; they are handled as advertising by the advertising department and usually appear on the classified page. Display (larger message with a border and photo) can also be arranged. To assist choosing In Memoriams we have 49 different “In Memoriams” shown at our website: https://www.secure-one.com/secure_provost/Inmemoriam.php

They can be e-mailed and paid for from that site or brought into our office in Provost. Again, call to confirm that we in fact received your message after you send it.

The News reserves the right to edit any news story. It also reserves the right to reject any advertisement and to change its policies without notice.

© The Provost News.
Reproduction or other use is prohibited without permission of The Provost News.