Obituaries often include lists with this grammatical structure:
John Doe is survived by his children, Steve Doe and his wife, June; Will Doe and his wife, Janet; Susan Richards and her husband, Walter...."
It seems to me that the above is incorrect because, despite phrases like "his wife" and "her husband," the wives and husbands still fall under the rubric of "his [John Doe’s] children." So my first question is, am I wrong about this?
According to obituary convention, you could write,
"his children, Steve (June) Doe, Will (Janet) Doe, and Susan (Walter) Richards."
However, many families do not like how this looks. Would "His children and their spouses" followed by their names be right? I have some doubts about this because, without the word "respectively," it’s potentially ambiguous.
This brings me to my second question: Other than using parentheses, what would be the correct way to write this list?