We've all been there if a loved one has passed away. Unless the loved one or family made arrangements ahead of time, there's a frenzy of activity at the very worst time as we begin to grieve.

At 70and73.com, we understand a tribute to a person’s life should carry much greater meaning than a dry, traditional “just the facts” obit that we see so often.

We offer a professionally written tribute story that is the result of two brief interviews with, for example, the deceased’s spouse, child or other relative. It typically will be under 750 words (this sample is about 700 words) or you can customize it to any length you desire under 750 words.

Some people may have no need for a tribute like this immediately – they’re still alive. But if you want a say in your own tribute, we will write one in advance and you’ll be prepared and have it on hand for your family when the inevitable occurs.

Why buy an expensive newspaper obit and submit a hastily-written, bland article that doesn’t capture the spirit of the loved one?

Your cost: $250 for a tribute, which includes digital publishing on 70and73.com (a $100 value). If you provide several photos, we will also publish a photo gallery to accompany the tribute. You will be able to make final edits on a draft of the tribute. You also will own the rights to the tribute through a copyright transfer agreement, meaning you’re free to publish it anywhere.

Ask about a 70and73 custom Tribute. Email contactus@70and73.com.

A sample Tribute:

Mike Broone of Cherry Hill never left the Marines.

When Mike Broone returned home from the Korean War in 1951, he was far different from the aimless teenager who had joined the military two years before.

Mr. Broone fought side-by-side with other infantrymen at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir and saw things few 19-year-olds ever see. He was the first to acknowledge how much he matured. But, most of all, he returned from Korea a Marine, from the 5th Marine Regiment, and like so many others he lived by the phrase “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”

“Michael never advertised the fact he was a Marine or fought so bravely. Yet for the last 68 years he was a loyal Marine every minute,” said Hazel (Barnes) Broome, who married Mike in 1951 six months after his return.

Mr. Broone lost his last battle, with lung cancer, on December 19, 2019, dying at 88 years old with his wife, children and grandchildren surrounding him on his living room couch. Multi-colored lights, garland and a tall Christmas tree set the mood as Mr. Broone passed away during the season he loved so much.

“When most people grow up they often don’t enjoy Christmas as much. Not my dad. At Christmas, he was always six-years-old. Every year. It was his joy,” said Bill Broone of Marlton, the oldest of four children in the Broone family. Mr. Broone’s other children are Emily (Broone) Patterson of Buffalo, New York; Julia (Broone) Williams of Charlottesville, Virginia and Ted Broone of Moorestown.

The Broones, who lived in Pennsauken for the first 12 years of their marriage, moved to the then-new development of Old Orchard in Cherry Hill and never left.

Mr. Broone was born on June 24, 1931 in Philadelphia and grew up in Northeast Philly, the son of Henry Broone, a Philadelphia police officer, and Anne (Madison) Broone, a bookkeeper.

He was a graduate of Northeast High School in Philadelphia and enlisted in the Marines shortly after graduation. When he returned from Korea, he worked in a warehouse and attended Temple University, earning his bachelor’s degree in business in 1956. From his Temple graduation until he retired in 1998, Mr. Broone worked in sales for the Ewald Manufacturing Co., based in Camden. He retired as senior vice president of sales.

Throughout life, his background as a Marine set the tone for how he dealt with others as well as the challenges he encountered.

Hazel Broone recalls a red-faced and angry Mike who walked through the door one day in the mid-1960s. “What made that so unusual was in all of our years of marriage to that date, I didn’t recall seeing him lose his temper,” she said. But Mike was furious on this day and his anger lasted through his half-hour drive from the plant to home.

“I quickly found out the head of purchasing for a large customer had lunch with Mike. The contract was a big one and the guy told Mike his company would be a shoo-in for the bid if it installed a swimming pool in his backyard,” she recalled. Mike was a great salesman, Hazel Broone said, but he also had a deep sense of integrity – something instilled in the Marine Corps.

The next week, Mr. Broone told the guy he wouldn’t be able to do business any longer with his company. The man protested and insisted on Ewald Manufacturing getting the contract – with no mention again of the bribe.

Mr. Broone had many hobbies and, without fail, the family each summer rented a Shore house in Ocean City, New Jersey and left daily worries behind, his son, Bill, said. “As kids, we couldn’t understand how dad could enjoy sitting on that vacation home’s front porch staring at the beach as much as laying on the beach itself. Now we get it,” Bill Broone said.

Besides his wife and children, Mr. Broone also leaves a sister, Mary (Broone) Miller of Haddonfield and a brother, Frank Broone of Medford, seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be held Tuesday evening from 7 to 9 and Wednesday morning from 10 to noon at the Smith Funeral Home. Burial will be private. Family and friends are invited to the family home for a light lunch after the Wednesday service.