Obituary Policy

An obituary can be submitted via

mail to:

The Rutland Herald Obituaries

PO Box 668, Rutland VT 05702

e-mail to:

Our deadlines are 2 p.m. daily.

It is necessary for us to have a copy of the death certificate, or name/phone number of the funeral home, or other such authority, to verify the death.

If you have a question, please call 802-747-6121, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On weekends or after hours, questions are best directed to the obits email to be answered the next business day. 

Guide to Obituaries

The Rutland Herald and Times Argus offer obituaries and expanded rites notices as paid advertising. We offer death notices, service notices and rites notices as free, templated advertising.

We also offer an edited version for $75. This version will be edited by our staff to conform to news guidelines as outlined below. 

The charge for paid obituaries and rites notices is $10 per column inch in the Times Argus and $20 per column inch in the Rutland Herald print and e-editions.

Obituaries, rites notices, death notices and service notices are published in the print and online editions Tuesday through Saturday. In addition, death and service notices will be published online on Sundays and Mondays.

The deadline for submitting an obituary for print publication is 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. We prefer to accept obituaries through email. Obituaries submitted on weekend days will be processed for publication on Monday for the Tuesday papers. If the deadline is earlier on holidays, it will follow the advertising deadline, a notice will be printed several days prior to the holiday.

Obituaries preferably come from funeral homes; if they are faxed, the fax number and name of the funeral home should appear on the copy or funeral home letterhead may be used. Obits received from relatives must be verified with a copy of an obit printed in another newspaper, a copy of a death certificate or some other satisfactory verification. (We have, on occasion, received fictitious obits.)

Aside from applying normal journalistic standards of style and grammar, paid notices will be published as submitted. Vermont funeral homes will be automatically billed for paid notices. Notices from out-of-state funeral homes must be accompanied by a signed “Agreement” form or a credit card number. Private party paid notices must be paid in advance or by credit card.

Photos are included in the per column inch charge, and will be cropped to fit into a roughly 1.25 inch wide by 1.5 inch tall box, unless otherwise directed by the funeral home or family. The Rutland Herald and Times Argus will process photos prior to publication to optimize them for print reproduction.

Families may opt to include a flag image for veterans. This is included at no charge. 

General guidelines for the edited version is below:

Death Notice (Free) - Includes name, age, town of residence, date of death, place of death and Funeral Home name. Additional information may result in the notice being a paid notice. Please contact us for details. 

Service notice (Free) - Includes service time, date and place; and name, age, town of residence, service time/date/place and Funeral Home name. Additional information may result in the notice being a paid notice. Please contact us for details. 

Rites Notice (Free) - Includes Name, age, town of residence, date of death, date/place of service, person officiating, eulogist, soloist, musician, bearers, up to eight honorary bearers, organization represented, place of burial, place of reception, memorial contributions, Funeral Home name. For military services, all organizations that attended and provided honors are listed. For the flag presentation, both the person to whom it was presented and the person who did the presenting, are named. Additional information may result in the notice being a paid notice. Please contact us for details. 


Full Obituary Guidelines

As a paid obituary, the submitter has leeway to write as they see fit. As a guideline, we have provided an outline of what is typically included in an edited obituary:

1. Name, Age, Place of Residence and Cause of Death

“SPRINGFIELD – Margaret R. “Peg” Smith, 69, died Dec. 5, 2004, at Mount Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor, after a long illness.”

The deceased’s full name is published with middle initial and maiden name, if applicable. Nicknames will be placed in quotes after the middle initial.

The newspaper lists the town the deceased is from as the dateline and will list a nursing home if desired.

Listing the length, type of illness or cause of death is up to the family.

Courtesy titles are used in the second reference to the deceased. If no preference is given on a courtesy title for a woman, the newspaper will use “Mrs.” if the deceased was married, and “Miss” if she was not.


2. Birth, Education

“She was born Feb. 26, 1935, in Woodstock, the daughter of Joseph and Carolyn Smith.

She graduated from Rutland High School in 1953 and Castleton State College in 1957.”

“He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Castleton State College in 1945 and a master’s degree in English from Harvard University in 1949.”

Degrees may also be listed.

Elementary and middle schools are only listed if the deceased is under the age of 18.


3. Marriage

“She married John Smith in Woodstock on June 3, 1955.”

If a marriage ends in divorce or death, and the deceased has remarried, that can be included as follows: “She married John Smith in Woodstock on June 3, 1955. He died in 1975. She married Jack Jones on July 17, 1983.”


4. Employment/Organizations/Military Service

“Mr. Smith served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

He was an editor at the Rutland Herald for 46 years.

He was a past president of the New England Newspaper Association and a member of the Moose Club.”

Prior short-term employment may be included, but dates are not.

“Mr. Smith was a clerk at Price Chopper before starting his own construction business. He also operated a day-care center.”

All organizations will be listed but dates will not be. Leadership positions will also be noted.

Volunteer experiences will be listed.


5. Hobbies/Church Affiliation

“She enjoyed baking cookies and sailing.”

Hobbies and activities like gardening, hunting, bowling, stamp collecting, etc., may be included.

The Herald will also include unique items like: “Mrs. Jones baked apple pies for the local harvest supper for 25 years.”

However, the newspaper avoids general comments that apply to all human beings, like an appreciation for morning, evening, the sun, children, grandchildren, animals, etc.

“She was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for 28 years.”

Church membership may also be included.


6. Survivors

“Survivors include his wife, Ruth (Smith) Jones of Wallingford; three sons, James Jones and William Jones, both of Wells, and Kevin Jones of Poultney; two sisters, Betty Dakes of Burlington and Marion Hall of Granville, N.Y.; two grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.”

Names of spouses, parents, siblings and children are listed. A companion or close friend may be included if a domestic partner, a fiancée or a close caregiver. Please let us know if special wording of the domestic partner is requested.

Former spouses are listed if the family desires.

If a parent is surviving and not remarried, the words mother and father will be used in the second reference.

Sons, daughter, brothers or sisters are grouped together. All the sons or all the daughters who live in the same towns are also grouped.

Generally, middle names or maiden names are not used when listing survivors, unless the person is known by both, such as Bobbi Jo or Parker-Smith.

The names of grandchildren, nieces, nephews or cousins are not listed, unless they are the closest living survivors. In-laws are not included in the list of survivors, but stepparents or domestic partners of a parent are included.

Pets are not included.


7. Predeceased

“He was predeceased by his wife, Ruth (Smith) Jones in 1998; three sons, James Jones, Williams Jones and Kevin Jones; and a cousin.”

In general, the rules of survivors apply to whose name will be listed here. For example, a deceased sister’s name will be listed but a granddaughter’s name will not.

If the deceased is under the age of 65, parents’ names may be listed as predeceased. After 65, it is presumed the parents are deceased and it is not necessary to list them.


8. Calling Hours/Funerals/Funeral Homes/Contributions

“Friends may call from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, at [the x funeral home] on [x Street] in [x town].

The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the funeral home.

Burial will follow Wednesday in Evergreen Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 1460, Williston, VT 05495.”

The full name of the funeral home is used in the first reference. Second and third references are “the funeral home.”

The address of the funeral home is listed only if there are calling hours or the funeral home is handling memorial contributions.

If two funeral homes are involved, the obituary will note who is in charge of local arrangements and out-of-town arrangements.

If the funeral home has not been mentioned earlier in the obituary, it is included at the conclusion of the notice. If it already has been mentioned, it is not listed again.

If there are no calling hours or services are private, the obituary should indicate that. “There will be no calling hours. Services are private.”

“Interment” can only be used when the deceased is placed in a vault in the winter.

If burial cannot be held at the time of service because of frozen ground, the newspaper prefers, “Burial will be at a later date,” as opposed to “in the spring.”

Contributions to a specific organization or to a favorite charity will be listed.