When a person dies, it is common to say the person was predeceased by other people such as his parents, his brother, and others.
However, I am wondering if these statements are correct:
- His brother predeceased his birth.
- Their child predeceased their marriage.
In these cases, "predeceased" means "died before". But is "predeceased" valid here? Or is it only valid before another death event, as in:
- His brother predeceased him/his death.
There are various definitions of the meaning of "predeceased". Some refer only to preceding another person's death, but others such as at Dictionary.com (based on the Random House Dictionary) give the definition of "predeceased" as:
"to die before (another person, the occurrence of an event, etc.)"
And there is some legal use of "predeceased" with respect to events that are not necessarily a death event, such as this definition of Survive:
"Survive: An individual than has neither predeceased an event, including the death of another individual, or is deemed to have predeceased an event under §15-11-104, §15-11-702 and §15-11-712 C.R.S."
Searching on Google for "predeceased the event" gives 21,100 results, many of which are from legal documents.
So my question is, in proper English, is it proper to use the word "predeceased" when referring to events other than a death, such as a birth or a marriage or any other event, even something like the sinking of the Titanic?
In other words, is "predeceased" allowed everywhere you could write "died before"?