The Pioneer extends a warm invitation to families, friends, and communities to memorialize their departed through obituaries and In Memoriam.

Cost is $1 per word; minimum $250. Includes a photo.

Submit in a text format (Word doc preferred) by email to Attach the photo as a high resolution jpg (1MB or larger) or PDF.

Include all contact info: Name of person submitting, billing name and address, phone number, email address.

Payment by check is preferred. For credit card payment, add 3.5%.

For questions, call Tamara Steiner at (925) 285-8612; or email

Click here to read past obituaries on the Pioneer website.

Creating an Obituary for Newspaper Publication

Losing a loved one is never easy, and writing an obituary for newspaper publication is a heartfelt way to remember and honor them. Here’s a guide on how to craft a meaningful obituary:

Gather Essential Information:

  • Full Name of the Deceased
  • Date of Birth and Date of Passing
  • Place of Residence and Death
  • Surviving Family Members (Spouse, Children, Grandchildren, etc.)
  • Predeceased Family Members
  • Education and Career Highlights
  • Achievements and Hobbies

Write a Compelling Opening Line:

  • Begin with a memorable line that describes the essence of the person’s life. This sets the tone for the obituary.

Create a Chronological Narrative:

  • Outline the significant milestones in the person’s life, such as education, career, marriage, and children.

Share Personal Details:

  • Highlight personal interests, hobbies, and community involvement. This adds depth to the obituary.

Mention Surviving Family:

  • List surviving family members and their relationships to the deceased.

Mention Predeceased Family:

  • If applicable, mention family members who predeceased the deceased.

Include Funeral/Services Information:

  • Specify the date, time, and location of the memorial service or funeral.

Proofread and Edit:

  • Review your obituary for accuracy, clarity, and grammar. Ensure all names and dates are correct.

Attach a High-Resolution Photo:

  • Newspapers often allow you to include a photo. Attach a high-resolution image in a JPG or PDF format that reflects the person’s character. Minimum size is 1MB.

Submission to the Newspaper:

  • Email your obituary with the photo attached to¬†

Respect Privacy and Sensitivity:

  • Be mindful of privacy and sensitive issues, and ensure you have the necessary permissions from the family.

Seek Assistance if Needed:

  • Don’t hesitate to seek help from friends, family, or professionals if you find the task emotionally challenging.

Crafting an obituary is a meaningful way to pay tribute to a loved one. When well-written, it serves as a lasting memory in the hearts of those who read it and celebrates the life of the departed.