Skip to Content

How to Write a Respectful Death Announcement Email to Staff

How to Write a Respectful Death Announcement Email to Staff

A death announcement email about a colleague is likely to have an effect on staff and must be done with sensitivity.

It can be challenging for the HR department of a company to write a death announcement email to staff.

Staff will expect a death announcement email that shows respect.


What you need to find out from family

When an employee has died, a family member will usually contact the HR department of the company.
Whoever receives the news must convey sympathy to the family in an appropriate manner and inquire about any arrangements or special requests.
It is ideal to share the news in-person with the colleagues who worked very closely with the employee if the family member is comfortable doing this. Via phone is another option.
In order to announce the news to the whole company, the HR department can send a death announcement email to staff.

Essentials to include in the death announcement email to staff

ladies breath bouquet pink flowers on brown wood
Photo by GINALOVESLIFE1110 on Pixabay – under CC0 license

Essentials you will need to find out to write a death announcement email to staff include:

aEmployee’s first name and last name.


bCause of death.


cDay and date when the employee died.


dRole of the employee at the company.


eDate, time and location of funeral service.


Death announcement template for an employee

funeral flowers afterthought life

Photo by PrebenGammelmark under Pixabay License

It is with deep sadness that we inform you about the passing of (employee’s name and surname).
(Employee’s first name) was involved in a car accident (died of cancer etc. etc.) and passed on (day, date). (Employee’s first name) worked at the company for (number of years) and played an important role in the (department).
Our hearts go out to (employee’s first name) family at this difficult time. Please keep them in your thoughts.
(Employee’s) funeral will be held on (date), (time) at (name of funeral home). Employees who wish to attend will be excused from work.
HR will be offering counseling services for (employee’s) colleagues. Counselors will be available on (date) from (time) to (time) at (location).


Death announcement template for a departmental manager

funeral adios bye memory death man holding flowers
Photo by joaph under Pixabay License

We are saddened to inform you that (manager’s full name) passed away unexpectedly last night after suffering a heart attack in the ICU at (hospital’s name).
(Manager’s first name) knowledge of the industry and his role as manager of the (name of department) is well known throughout the company. On a personal level, we enjoyed his sense of humor and his passion for football.
(Manager’s first name) leaves behind a wife and a son. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this time.
A memorial service will take place on (date) at (time) at (location) and employees can take time off to attend. The HR department will hold grief counseling sessions on (day) at (times) in (location).

Death announcement email template to staff for a CEO

flowers on top of coffin mourning people wearing black

Photo by Rhodi Alers de Lopez under Unsplash

With deep sorrow, we announce the passing of (name of CEO)- company CEO on (day and month) after a long illness.
(Name of CEO) was devoted to the company in his 12-year role as CEO and we will always remember his tireless efforts to make the company successful. We offer our sincere condolences to his family, who supported him every step of the way.
As per the family’s decision, the funeral service of (name of CEO) will be conducted on (date) at (time) in (location).
Employees are welcome to attend and any donations to the (name of fund) will be appreciated in lieu of flowers.

Email subject line and How to start the death announcement email to staff

A subject line is brief yet sensitive, so you may need some thought to come up with the right one for your death announcement email to staff.

aA sad loss for our company


bTragic news about a colleague


cDevastating news


dWe mourn the loss of a valued employee

The first paragraph of the email will include the employee’s name and the reason for writing.

01Example :
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of (employee’s first name and surname).
He/she passed away on (day of the week) at (years of age). He/she had been a valued member of the marketing team since (date of employment) and will be sorely missed.


pink and white flowers in blue glass vase

Photo by Daria Shevtsova under pexels license


02Example :
On (date), our company suffered a terrible loss. Our accountant, (employee first and last name) passed away due to (cause of death).
He/she played an important role in our company and we will all miss his/her attention to detail and calmness under pressure.


03Example :
We would like to inform you that (employee first and last name) passed away on (day and date). We express our sincere sympathies to his/her family.
He/she was a highly valuable and respected member of the IT department.


flowers bouquet white roses

Photo by algria under Pixabay License


More samples of explaining the cause of death of the employee in death announcement email to staff

A death announcement email to staff may have to be made for many different causes of death, such as illness, various types of accidents, natural disasters or a pandemic.

Death due to illness


01Example :
It is with great sadness that (company) announces that (employee’s name) passed away on (day and month) after a long struggle with cancer.
Those of you who were close to (employee’s name) already know that he waged a valiant battle against his illness.


02 purple flowers fountain pen

Photo by Debby Hudson on unsplash


02Example :
We would like to inform you that (employee’s name) passed away on (day and month) after a long stay in hospital with meningitis.
We will sorely miss (employee’s name), and extend our heartfelt sympathy to his/her wife/husband and daughter/son.


Death due to accident


03Example :
We have just heard that (employee’s name) was one of the passengers in the plane that crashed on Sunday morning en route to (name of airport).
(Name of the hospital) confirmed his passing at 7pm on Sunday evening. This tragic news was a profound shock to us and our prayers go out to his family during this very sad time.


woman mourning crying while holding flowers

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on unsplash


04Example :
Our respected colleague, (employee’s name) was involved in a serious car accident on (day and date). He/She was unable to recover from his/her injuries and sadly he/she passed away last night.
We will greatly miss his/her positive attitude and generosity.



Death due to suicide

If an employee has committed suicide, the family might prefer not to disclose this information to coworkers. If they don’t mind disclosing the information, the following email samples are appropriate.

05Example :
Our dear colleague (employee’s name) took his/her own life over the weekend.
Our confusion and grief at this time cannot compare with what (employee’s) family must be feeling. There will be a short memorial service on (day), at (time) in (location).


cementerio flor cemetery death purple flowers
Photo by vlanka under Pixabay License


06Example :
This morning, we received the very sad news that (employee’s name) died by suicide last night. I know we are all devastated by his/her death and send our deepest condolences to his/her family.
Employees who wish to talk to a counselor can do so today between 12am and 4pm in (location). Information about the funeral will be provided when it is available.


Death as a result of a pandemic


07Example :
(Employee’s name and surname’s) family notified the company yesterday that he/she passed away after suffering severe respiratory distress as a result of COVID-19.
(Employee’s first name) had been isolating at home after contracting the virus a month ago.
We wish the family our deepest condolences and want to offer them support at this sad time. They have advised that attendance at the memorial service will be limited to family.


dreamy stylish lady with flower in hands standing on grassy meadow in highland

Photo by adrianna geo on unsplash


08Example :
As you know, (employee’s name) was sent home after being exposed to someone with COVID-19. His/Her family has let us know that she passed away suddenly on (day).
We will deeply mourn her loss and offer her family heartfelt condolences.


Death as a result of a natural disaster


09Example :
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our friend and colleague (first name of employee). He/She passed away as a result of an uncontrollable wildfire that ravaged his/her farm over the weekend.
(Employees first name) will be sorely missed by everyone at (company’s name).


brown coffin photo on the back of funeral car

Photo by Anastasiya Vragova under pexels license


10Example :
We are heartbroken to hear that (employee’s name) was caught in a flood while on vacation in (location).
Unfortunately, he/she passed away as a result of injuries sustained in the flood. He/She was highly respected by both clients and colleagues in his/her role as marketing manager.
We offer our sympathy to his/her family at this sad time.


Examples to finish off a death announcement email to staff

man sitting on the bench crying

Photo by Bruno Aguirre on unsplash


aA card will be available in the break room that we can all sign to give to the family.


bThe family would appreciate it if you could celebrate (employee’s name) by making a donation to an organization he/she supported all his/her life- (organization’s name).


c(Employee’s name’s) social media pages will remain open so employees are able to post memories and final words to him/her.


A final word

When writing a death announcement email to staff, it is best to be direct, but at the same time, always be respectful and sensitive to people’s feelings. This is as important as the words you use.
Express condolences to the family and remember that the email doesn’t have to be lengthy to be effective so keep it to-the-point.