Been there, done that, timmy. The obit writers at The Chicago Sun-Times are incredible. Almost every day they take an "ordinary" Chicago person who has recently died and write a full feature story about them in the obituary section. A woman, a chimney sweep who used to do our chimney, passed away. It was her to a "T." They do a great job. Studs Turkel and Aaron Copland would be proud.
"Fanfare for the Common Man"
P.S. And, timmy, I can not imagine anyone more capable to write an obit "compressing his whole life into 12 dollars" who could illuminate more about a friend in such a brief space.