Not all directories for all cities/towns would do this but still for those time periods too recent for censuses to be public and where the alternative of searching on line newspapers from the area or going to a local library for the area of interest & looking in person are not options, trying city directors is a viable research strategy.
I've encountered directories for other cities that didn't list any sort of death information. The person just ceased to be listed leaving one to wonder, "Did they die or did they move elsewhere?"
And, even within the directories that do list deaths, these death listings are sometimes a product of the time period within the city directories that one is looking.
I've encountered several variations:
- Directories that list deaths beginning in the late 1800's directories & keep doing it up into the 1960's
- Directories that only seemed to list deaths during a few decades usually 1920's - 1940's but earlier & later directories for the same city didn't carry any deaths
- And directories that didn't lists deaths in their 1800's versions but started the practice at various times in the 1900's and continued the practice through the later versions up into the late 1950's - early 1960's.
You may also be fortunate enough to encounter directories that actually tell you someone moved & where they moved to. Those entries usually say something along the lines of "rem to" followed by the name of another town within the state or name another state.
Sometimes, too, whether or not a directory for a particular city listed deaths or "rem to"s was a function of which company published the directory.
I've been lucky a couple of times with out of state moves in that the directory for the former city actually gave both the city/town and state the person had removed to.
These Fall River directories in the time I'm looking, mid 1940's - mid 1950's, were listing the individuals and then "died" followed by a date in the year preceding the directory I was looking at.
Thanks for replying and bringing up this important point.