Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Death is a sad fact of life and over the years some of my old contacts have died. I still wish to keep a record of their details, birthday, day they died, notes, spouse, kids etc in my Contacts and am looking for a recommended way to flag those records to indicate that the person is dead. I am interested to know how other people have dealt with this.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I've had the same "need." I guess we all do sooner or later. Here's what I did.

Card menu > Add Field > Dates. Then select the Date field drop down in the contact and select custom.

You can also change the general new contact template in the same Cart menu.

I hope this helps.

share|improve this answer

You could also add a special symbol to the contact’s comments (I use «†», also known as U+2020 DAGGER), and then create a smart group, where the criterion is Note > contains > (Alt-t).

share|improve this answer

As CDK suggests, my solution was adding a new custom date.

My problem was that I didn't want to be reminded with this person's birthday every year. Finally, I deleted the birthday and added a new custom date for "birth", so it's not recognized by iCal and there are no more notifications about it.

share|improve this answer
That's a good idea too. Thanks. – Dave Sag Apr 23 '15 at 1:10

As others have said, you can add a custom date for deceased and that will help you keep a record. But that doesn't flag them very well for general viewing. You can't filter by the presence or absence of your custom field (at least not in 10.7).

I would also insert a keyword in the notes to use as your filter, something like #deceased. Then you can set up a filtered group called Not dead to mask all those poor folks. And conversely a Dead and gone group will help you reminisce.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.