Let’s set the scene: You’ve just lost a loved one and you’re sitting in the funeral director’s office making final arrangements. The subject of an obituary comes up. You’re told that if you want a full obituary printed in the paper, it’s going to cost you two hundred dollars, possibly more.
he first thing you think, “Is that can’t be right.” I had a discussion with some other folks about the subject and the general consensus was that funeral homes must be tacking on some extra fees to make a profit.
But are they? We decided to check with some newspapers to find out exactly what it costs to place an obituary.
My first thought is that I see why people like to have funeral homes take care of that chore. I wasn’t able to contact anyone in any of the newspaper’s obituary departments on the first try. None of the papers listed the actual cost of placing an obituary anywhere publically. That was my first clue that they were probably going to be fairly expensive.
The Portsmouth Daily Times charges $18.50 per inch to place an obituary plus photo space.
The Columbus dispatch costs $70 plus $7.22 per line per day M-F or $9.67 per line on Sunday.
Dawn Scott, VP of the Ralph F. Scott Funeral Home, says obituaries can be “crazy-expensive” but pointed out that funeral homes have no control over the cost of obituaries.
“Families are at the mercy of the newspapers… Many times we submit an abbreviated version of the obituary of the newspaper and place a full obituary on the funeral home website.”