Common Obituary Questions

How do I write an obituary?

There are some excellent guidelines here:

Can I choose when my ad will run?

Yes. You can select your desired date after you customize your ad.

When is the deadline to submit my ad?

View our Deadlines page. IMPORTANT: During the holidays we will have early deadlines that will be posted on the website in advance near the username and log in. If you have an emergency during an early deadline period, please call 757-446-2325.

What if I miss the deadline?

Your announcement will be published on the next date available.

Why have the deadlines changed over the years?

We have carefully studied the trends in obit announcement volume and the majority of the volume falls within the hours that we have suggested above.

How do I upload my own picture or logo?

After selecting the template with a photo you can choose to upload an emblem, picture or logo.

How do I know if my picture is acceptable?

In order to get the very best picture printed please make sure that the photo is cropped to just show the face of your loved one. We accept Jpeg format.

What if I only have a hard copy photo?

Most funeral homes have this feature. However, if you do not, we have a scanner at The Virginian-Pilot office in downtown Norfolk and can scan your photo for you. There are several convenient locations around town that will offer this service as well: Kinkos, Office Max, Office Depot, and more. Once you have a digital copy of the photo, upload it into your ad through the self-serve program.

Do I get to choose where my ad is placed in the newspaper?

Obituaries are placed in the Hampton Roads section of The Virginian Pilot. They will be placed under the associated city. Unless the city is out of the area, then it will be listed as "elsewhere."

How do I pay for my ad?

Use your Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express card on the payment page. If you are a funeral home, and have been approved for billing with The Virginian Pilot, we can set up your account to be billed monthly. If you would like to apply for billing, please contact us at and we will provide you a credit application.

Will I receive confirmation that my ad has been processed?

A confirmation email will be send to the address listed for your account.

Do I have to publish my announcement online or get a Keepsake?

Yes, it is part of the bundled package we have for obituary notices.

How long will my obit notice stay on

The ad will stay online indefinitely.

How can I get additional Keepsakes?

Email us at and we can assist you with ordering multiple Keepsakes.

Why would someone need to confirm a death notice or obituary announcement?

The first reason is we may need to pull up the announcement again, either to refer to it or order additional Keepsakes. Secondly, in the cases of private party customers, we need to confirm directly with the establishment that handled the service. This will assist in avoiding publishing false information.


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