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I have a list of several names. Some listed individuals are deceased.

Question: What are the ways to indicate that these particular individuals passed away?

The most obvious way is to indicated "(deceased)" after the person's name. I know that one can also use a dagger (†) or refer to the person as "the late Mr./Ms. Doe". I then learned in References to deceased persons that one can use "RIP" as suffix as well.
However, for some reasons, these solutions are not satisfactory to me. I am thus looking for other solutions.
(I know that the Latin locution obiit is used in some countries on parish registers. Could it be used here?)


Police reported that following individuals were seen at the Oakbridge train station:

  • Edward George Armstrong (deceased),
  • William Henry Blore,
  • the late Emily Caroline Brent,
  • Vera Elizabeth Claythorne, RIP
  • Philip Lombard,
  • John Gordon Macarthur,
  • Anthony James Marston,
  • Lawrence John Wargrave,
  • Ethel Rogers, and
  • Thomas Rogers.
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    The dagger often indicates a footnote, so you would probably want to indicate at the end of the list that it refers to deceased individuals. – RaceYouAnytime May 31 '17 at 23:38
  • Yes. A footnote is appropriate. And the dagger is the correct note glyph. – John Lawler May 31 '17 at 23:42
  • @RaceYouAnytime The list is actually constituted of authors of a book (one of them passed away since first edition). Using a footnote on the front cover does not seems an acceptable solution. "(deceased)" and "RIP" (even in small caps) sounds 'too much' to me (purely subjective opinion). Finally "the late XX" does not look nice when all names are flushed left. Hence I'm looking for other ways... – ebosi May 31 '17 at 23:50
  • @ebo Ah. Would it be acceptable to refer to them in a dedication page as opposed to on the front cover? I believe that would be the standard approach. Perhaps in a footnote on the back cover? – RaceYouAnytime May 31 '17 at 23:55
  • I don't think that "RIP" is considered "normal" formal terminology anymore. Either use an dagger/asterisk and footnote, "(deceased)", or some parenthesized abbreviation for "deceased". – Hot Licks Jun 1 '17 at 0:11
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If you wish to avoid connotations of specific faiths, I would recommend linking the names to a footnote using an asterisk.

Using a dagger or cross is appropriate but could be associated with Christianity, so here the choice of glyph could depend on context. If you were writing for a church, you might opt deliberately for a cross. In Jewish tradition, a Star of David is not uncommon. If you wish to avoid connotations of a specific religion, an asterisk eliminates that aspect.

  • Edward George Armstrong *

  • William Henry Blore *

  • Emily Caroline Brent

    * deceased

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