Offer Sympathy For the Death of a Business Associate • Example Letters, Guides and Samples


A letter offering sympathy for the death of a business associate respectfully acknowledges the reader's misfortune while offering comfort and support. Be brief, honest, and sincere as you write the message by hand, using personal stationery. Never include business details like benefits or distributions in a sympathy letter. Reserve these matters for another time.

How to write this sympathy letter:

  1. Express your sympathy briefly.
  2. Recall the achievements or character of the deceased, or a particularly positive episode in your relations with him or her.
  3. Offer further condolences or support.

Example Letter #1


The employees of Doe Clothing join me in extending our sympathy at the passing of John, your long-time business partner. We have had many occasions to do business with your firm and have always appreciated John's knowledge and willingness to help. We especially appreciated all he did to help us through the recession. We know he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Example Letter #2


I was shocked to hear the sad news that Jane died so suddenly. I knew Jane to be a hard worker and an honest businesswoman. Although I admired her talent in business, her kindness with everyone was what truly impressed me. Please accept my contribution to the Jane Doe Trust as a token of my respect for her.

Example Letter #3


I am deeply saddened to hear of John's death. He and I have shared twenty rewarding years together as business partners and became as close as brothers. Together we learned about human nature, suffered some setbacks, and more than once helped each other get back up again. He never would let us fail.

Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. If Jane and I can help in any way, please give us a call. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Example Letter #4


I read this morning's news account of the death of John Doe, your founding president, and wish to extend my regrets for your loss. I believe your firm's solid reputation is in large measure due to John Doe's honesty and dedication to quality products. I know my staff and I will miss his frequent visits and good humor. He always had a welcome, constructive word of advice. We join you in honoring his memory.

Example Letter #5


All of us here at Doe Corporation mourn the passing of its founder, John Doe, and unite in honoring the exemplary life of a great American entrepreneur.

We fully appreciate the fact that Mr. Doe's inspiring leadership and pursuit of excellence have created a company with an enviable reputation for production quality both here and abroad. As we reflect upon the high standards he espoused, we are reminded of the many benefits we enjoy as associates of the company that proudly bears his name.

We unite in offering our condolences to the Doe family in their time of mourning. We assure you that the honorable legacy that Mr. Doe leaves behind offers both inspiration and challenge to anyone who aspires to emulate this great man. We hope the many reminders that surround you of how he has enriched the lives of all who have had the privilege to be associated with him will soon bring you comfort and relief of sorrow.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1 Express your sympathy briefly.

Sample Sentences for Step 1
  • It is with great sadness that we learned of John's passing.
  • I was devastated to hear of Jane's death.
  • Please know that the Doe family extends its most heartfelt sympathies on the death of your beloved husband.
  • We received the tragic news of your loss with deep sorrow.
  • I was stunned yesterday to learn of Jane's untimely passing.
  • It was with sincere regret and surprise that I read of John's passing in this morning's paper.
  • Your great loss has saddened me and my staff.
  • Your loss has stunned and saddened all of us here at Doe's.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
  • associates and I wish to extend our deepest sympathy
  • been shaken by the news of the accident
  • extend our most heartfelt sympathies
  • extend our deepest sympathy to you
  • has stunned and saddened all of us
  • has saddened me and my staff.
  • is with great sadness that we learned
  • of the passing of
  • please accept my deepest sympathy
  • please accept our condolences
  • please accept my sincere condolences
  • sincerest sympathy to you and your associates
  • so sorry to learn
  • staff and I were saddened to hear
  • the news of your tragic loss
  • was with sincere regret and surprise that I read
  • was deeply moved by the news
  • was shocked and distressed to hear
  • with great personal sorrow
  • with deep sorrow we have received the news

2 Recall the achievements or character of the deceased, or a particularly positive episode in your relations with him or her.

Sample Sentences for Step 2
  • His colleagues held him in high esteem for his loyalty and personal integrity. He demonstrated the kind of motivation and leadership all of us on his staff greatly admired.
  • Over the years she became my mentor, offering guidance, inspiration, and encouragement. She was a great example to us all.
  • He was an outstanding administrator, and all those fortunate enough to have worked with him genuinely appreciated him.
  • Just as John bequeathed everlasting love to you, he has also left a tradition of professionalism at Doe Corporation.
  • What started many years ago as a business relationship between Jane and me soon blossomed into a warm friendship. I feel truly blessed to have known her so well.
  • I had lunch with John only last Tuesday, and we had a great time reminiscing over our time at the condo last summer. I will sorely miss his friendship.
  • Although he was among the very best we have known, John's value to us as an employee far exceeded his expertise as a programmer.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
  • a fine person to do business with
  • admired for her loyalty and personal integrity
  • all her co-workers loved her
  • all had the greatest respect for
  • always put customers first
  • as a member of our profession
  • earned everyone's respect
  • feel fortunate to have known him
  • genuinely admired by all those who worked with her
  • great example to us all
  • great business associate
  • has been my mentor over the years
  • has served us well
  • high regard in which he was held by all who knew him
  • left a legacy of professionalism for us
  • made a friend of everyone he met
  • motivation and leadership
  • offered us inspiration and encouragement
  • relationship blossomed into a warm friendship over the years
  • the community is richer for having known
  • value to us far exceeded his expertise as a
  • was far more to me than a business associate
  • was held in very high esteem by all his colleagues
  • was a shining example to us all
  • was an outstanding
  • was a wonderful friend as well as coworker
  • was well respected among her colleagues
  • will all remember her for her
  • will be sorely missed
  • worked together here for many years

3 Offer further condolences or support.

Sample Sentences for Step 3
  • Please accept our deepest sympathies for the loss of a great man. We will dearly miss him.
  • We framed his latest photo and hung it in one of our conference rooms as a memorial to John's character and leadership.
  • Mrs. Doe, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Everyone in our company joins in this expression of deep sympathy.
  • We are sorry for the loss, but we are thankful for his example of devotion to family and dedication to hard work.
  • I share your loss and extend my heartfelt sympathy.
  • My staff and I extend our deepest sympathy. Please call on us if we can help as you plan for the future.
  • We will always remember John as a valuable employee and an outstanding individual. We hope these thoughts can add a measure of comfort for you during this difficult time.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
  • be assured of my availability
  • best wishes and thoughts
  • call on us if we can be of service
  • extend our deepest sympathy
  • hard to imagine the world without him
  • hard to say goodbye to someone I have worked with for so long
  • have hung his photo in our conference room as a memorial
  • have taken up a collection for a memorial
  • hope the support of your family and friends
  • hope the many memories you shared will ease your pain
  • know that we too will miss her
  • may a lifetime of wonderful memories give you strength
  • only a phone call away
  • passing will be mourned
  • please do not hesitate to contact us
  • thanks for sharing him with us
  • thoughts are with you
  • thoughts and prayers are with you
  • will be dearly missed
  • will never forget