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We have a contact in our database that is now deceased. We would like to maintain their historical records for archival use, but want to ensure that we stop sending mailings.

How do I identify someone in CiviCRM as being deceased?

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Inside a contact, under demographics (gender, age, etc.) when you choose "Edit demographics" there's an option for "Contact is deceased".

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As well as what RayWright said, if you're using 4.4 or below you might like to try this extension:

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