To make up for the lack quotes from the dead.
When it comes to obituaries, including a several voices is important "Letter: Good way to introduce another voice" (Clark and Scanlan 71). In an obituary, the writer can write about a persons life. However, just providing facts will not give the obituary a personal touch. Quoting family members adds the personal touch and letters do as well. This is an important time to gather quotes from others because, well, you can't interview the deceased.