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Immediate family?

Posted by ESC on January 11, 2003

In Reply to: Immediate family? posted by masakim on January 10, 2003

: : : : Immediate family - I read the online obits from my hometown every day. (To see if friends and enemies have passed on.) Home is in West Virginia. In today's batch the phrase "He was the last of his immediate family" was used but then surviving children and grandchildren were listed.

: : : : By "immediate family" they were meaning a person's parents and siblings. The family one is born into.

: : : : To me "immediate family" means "nuclear family" and it changes. A child's immediate family is parents and brothers & sisters. When a child grows up and marries, his immediate family is his wife and children. It's the people closest to you - next-of-kin. The people you list under "In case of emergency, contact.."

: : : : How do you all interpret "immediate family"?

: : : I'm no expert, but I do agree with the obituary writer. Immediate family is the family into which one is born. It doesn't change with marital status.

: : I'm no expert either, but the dictionary definitions of "immediate" and "family" support ESC's interpretation. Immediate family includes everyone who is not separated from oneself by another person "in between" in the kinship diagram.

: According to my reference books, an "immediate family" includes children.

: Immediate family. The term referring to one's parents, wife or husband, children, and brothers and sisters.
: From _Black's Law Dictionary, Abridged Fifth Edition_

: immediate family Close relatives by birth or marriage including siblings, parents, children, in-laws, and any financial dependents. The National Association of Securities Dealers restricts financial transactions between a broker-dealer and his or her immediate family.
: From _Wall Street Words: An Essential A to Z Guide for Today's Investor_ by David L. Scott

I'm going to write to the newspaper and point all this out. Although they probably won't thank me. I used to write obits for this particular paper. But I don't know if that will cut any ice.

When I first read that the person was the "last of his immediate family," I thought, "How awful --parents, siblings, wife, children, all gone." Then I saw that he had surviving descendents.

Maybe they could say "John Smith was the last surviving child of the late Fred and Minnie Mae Smith."

Thanks for the feedback.