The news obituary that I chose to look at was Senator Paul Wellstone's. He was a MN senator. I read his obituary from the New York Times.
To my surprise, his obituary was extremely long; three pages, 1965 words. It was written by David E. Rosenbaum.
The lead was not a traditional. It didn't offer the standard what, when, why, how. In my opinion, the lead could have been written better. Being he was a senator, I wouldn't expect the standard lead you would most likely see. I would expect some creativity. The first sentence was this: "Paul Wellstone often seemed out of step." It wasn't very catchy for me and I had no idea what the writer was trying to say; maybe that was the point, I don't know. The lead didn't work for me personally.
Sources in this obituary varied. Many quotes from other senators were included and a lot of quotes of Paul Wellstone himself were used as well. A lot of information was given about him, but little attribution was present simply because he was a well-known man. Most facts or information could easily be confirmed.
An obit differs from a resume because a resume is just facts. For most new stories, that's a good thing. For an obituary, I think it's important to capture the essence of the person, especially if they are a well-known person or public figure. It should captivate meaning and offer something more than just facts about the person. Loved ones often times cut obituaries out of the paper and keep them forever as a remembrance of that person. I just think it's necessary to be creative when writing obituaries making them special.