General Etiquette > Family and Children

Including the stepkids' names but NOT the bio-kids' names in obituary?

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same thing happened when my great grandfather passed, his second wife flatly refused to acknowledge the kids from his first marriage (my grandfather and his brothers) and told them not to bother putting their own obituary into the paper.
Pop ignored her and put one in, glad that he did because the way the one from her made it sound like his life hadn't started until he'd married her. Or that the 30 year gap between finishing high school and meeting her was just time he spent in a coma or something.
There could be any number of reasons, but that's what my mind jumps to. Of course other people could be right - but if the stepkids mentioned are the children of the surviving spouse then it could just be a person in mourning overlooking something that is not important *to them* in the obituary, especially if the second spouse did not have much to do with the bio kids.
But it kind of is bad form.

I agree with those who say it's bad form. I think even if the bio-kids were estranged for some reason, it would be disrespectful to them and disingenuous to write out the step-children's full names and leave out the bio-kids' names.

It seems that Wilma wrote the obit, or someone who knew her, but didn't know Fred when he was younger.

If the bio-kids' names needed to be left out (by their request, or they didn't know the kids' names, etc.) then they should have just said "Fred was survived by two step-children and two children" or something to that effect.

It is certainly odd and fuel for gossip.    I can't think of any reason they would do that if not to indicate some form of estrangement, either way it's certainly a public hint at dirty laundry.    As you say, nobody's business but theirs, but certainly eyebrow raising.

The obituary was in Fred and Wilma's city.  Did Wilma's grown children live in that city also, and Fred's live in another area?  The only thing I can think of is that the obituary was charged by the line or by the word, and if Fred's children weren't local and not well known, they would have named Wilma's and not his.  Something similar happened when my father died in Oregon; in his local paper out there, he was "survived by two sons and a daughter".  In his hometown paper, we were named with our spouses.

If the obituary is charged by the line, there are other things you can cut. The difference is, what, four names (2 first, 2 last) and a couple of linking prepositions.

I think it's really bad form. Obituaries are supposed to be a sort of record.


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