Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Courtland Matthew McDonald, age 24

Courtland Matthew McDonald, age 24, affectionately known as “Court/Matthew,” was born on September 2, 1996, to Larry and Bonnie McDonald in Little Rock, AR. Court Matthew transitioned from this life on September 20, 2020, with his beloved wife and IUIC brothers and sisters trying to aid him at Lake DeGray. He is proceeded in death by his grandfather’s Kenneth H. Byrd and Earl T. Ruffin.

Courtland Matthew was raised and attended Jacksonville Public schools where he participated in the band and sports before graduating from Jacksonville High School in 2015. Court/ Matthew always demonstrated a sense of knowledge and wisdom. His gift of discernment was often acknowledged by his family, especially his niece Audrey, as he often cautioned her to “be careful” during their daily backyard adventures “to infinity and beyond!”  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, KJV). This verse instilled in him from his mother Bonnie, truly demonstrated what the Most High has completed with him in 24 years!

“Baseball, baseball, baseball!” Courts’ love of sports, especially baseball grew as he spent countless hours with his father, Larry and brother’s Cleyton, Clinton, and Caleb at Dupree Baseball Park with Coach Hickingbotham and Burrows. Court Matthew earned his Associates Degree from Arkansas Baptist College off playing baseball while gaining several life-long friendships from his sporting encounters!

Friends were important to Courtland Matthew as he felt, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13 (KJV). He had a number of friends that he valued and held dearly. Each of them played a pivotal role in his life and he never held back to express to each of them how he appreciated their friendship and loyalty. His favorite places where he was often found with them was at the batting cages or in the gym!

“If anyone should ever write my life story…. Jesus is the best thing that ever happened to me!” Court Matthew spiritual beliefs began at a young age. He accepted Christ as his Savior and was baptized May 2018. Court was a devout believer of the truth in the Israelites Law. He was a diligent vessel being used by the Most High to witness, encourage, and educate others of what our Father and Savior Jesus Christ has commanded all of His children to uphold.

Court had a strong bond and loved being with his family during their numerous experiences. From the time he became a big brother he was policing the house to protect the youngest sis, Candise! This responsibility carried over to his nieces and nephews. The question they always asked, “Where’s Uncle Court!” It wasn’t anything to find him playing around with any one of the little ones, entertaining them by them taking silly pictures, talking with them about their interests, traveling to be with them, or taking them to his favorite place, the batting cages/gym!

Court Matthew met the love of his life Shamila Crawford, at Arkansas Baptist College through his favorite pastime, baseball. His eyes twinkled as he introduced her to the family for the first time. He and Shai were married on September 16, 2019. Together they have a child due in 2021. Shai will forever hold many moments of laughter, hopes and dreams, especially their walk of Faith and Truth. Court Matthew’s favorite scriptures shared with his wife are: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV).


“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13, KJV).

Court Matthew is survived by his wife, Shai, parents Larry and Bonnie McDonald of Jacksonville, AR; mother-in-law, Sharlet Webb of Globe, AZ. Grandparents Fannie Ruffin of Wayne, PA; Ethel Alexander of Middlesex, VA; Virgie Byrd of Little Plymouth, VA.

Court is also survived by his brother’s; Cleyton (Loletta) McDonald of Jacksonville, AR; Clinton (Alicia) McDonald of Little Rock, AR; James Clark, Sr. Phoenix, AZ; Caleb McDonald/Jenai Campbell of Jacksonville, AR; spiritual brother Javar Rochester of Wilmington, DE/ Sister’s Cleyardis (Anthony) McDonald-Amaker of Sumter, SC and Candise McDonald of Jacksonville, AR; loving nephews Andre Amaker, Ethon Jones, and James Clark, Jr.; adoring nieces: Audrey McDonald, Jordan Russell, Laila Thomas, Cadence McDonald, McKayla Amaker, Kaylie Clark, Danyelle Clark, Emerald McDonald, Caitlyn McDonald, Autumn and Aspen McDonald; and a host uncles, aunts, and cousins.

Other spiritual family members Geraldine Tell, Ella (JB)Moody, Dr. Renee’ Crater, Mr. Cameron Franklin, Coach Jerry, Carlotta, and Jeremy Wilson; Norman, Robin, and Javin Wakefield and the IUIC family were consistent influences that were noted as sharing words of knowledge until his demise. No words can express how Court Matthew will be missed as he leaves a legacy of love and servitude!

Services for Courtland M. McDonald will be held at 10 AM, October 16, 2020, at A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main St.,

Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. Following the funeral service, he will be buried at Memorial Gardens 8507 AR-161, North Little Rock, AR 72117

The seating is limited to 100 people due to COVID-19. The funeral service will be available online on ZOOM.

Arrangements entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400


  • Barbara Frederick Posted October 13, 2020 5:55 PM

    I can’t know the pain his family is enduring, but I know that your faith in God will lead through this tragedy. I am praying for all the family to find comfort and peace in the coming days. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Junelle Mongno Posted October 13, 2020 6:10 PM

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your son, brother, uncle, and friend. A young life gone from earth to soon. God has his plan and I pray you’ll find comfort through him.

  • Henry Robinson Posted October 13, 2020 6:18 PM

    Psalms 147:3. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. I’m sorry for your lost my heart goes out to you all. May God continue to bless and strengthen you.

  • Kelly Moore Posted October 13, 2020 6:21 PM

    Mr. Mrs. MCDonald and Family, it’s with great sadness I am writing this to you. We watched Courtland grow into a very respectful young man. Watching him on the field and off he loved the game of football and baseball. Courtland always called Brad “Hey Coach Brad” or hello “ Mrs Watkins!” He was always respectful and kind. We are praying for you all in this time of sorrow and pain. We have a blessed assurance that we will see him one day when we all get to Heaven. May God comfort you thru the days ahead.
    Brad and Kelly Moore

    • Cherry Johnson Posted October 14, 2020 8:37 PM

      Prayers for the family. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; May the name of the Lord be praised. So sorrow for you loss.🙏🙏

    • The McFadden Family Posted October 16, 2020 9:25 AM

      Lifting the family in prayer. “Blessed are the ones that mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
      We love you and are thinking of you now and the days to come.

  • Jim and Gail peacock Posted October 13, 2020 6:22 PM

    So sorry for your loss. Many prayers for this family.

  • Teri Ruple Posted October 13, 2020 6:38 PM

    Many thoughts and prayers for your family.

  • Marlon and Peggy Waymire Posted October 13, 2020 6:46 PM

    Larry & Bonnie – we are heartbroken to hear of the loss of your precious son. What a wonderful testimony you shared in his obituary. We love you guys so very much and lifting you all up in our prayers.

  • Micaela Whitelow Posted October 13, 2020 6:53 PM

    My prayers go to the family and friends of Courtland. We grew up together from grade school to graduating classmates. He was always respectful, kind, and full of energy! Prayers to the family and friends. May God bless you with strength .

  • Fanchette Vickers Posted October 13, 2020 7:10 PM

    Such a heartbreaking tragedy. Condolences to the
    To the McDonald Family. May the Lord’s healing grace of comfort and strength be upon you. Clayton, Clint and Cleyardis, you and your family are in my prayer during this time of great loss. Love, Mrs. Vickers & Family

  • Bud and Joann Perry Posted October 13, 2020 7:19 PM

    Prayers for your family. Such a fine young man.

  • Johnny & Jackie Wallace Posted October 13, 2020 7:26 PM

    So sorry for your loss . Our deepest sympathy to you and all the family .

  • Ella Moody Posted October 13, 2020 7:37 PM

    My heart is heavy but joyful, because I know, Court knew the Lord and live a life conducive to God’s teachings. He will truly be missed by all. Much love to my McDonald family and know that I am here for you.

  • Chanel Murray Posted October 13, 2020 8:32 PM

    This lost is a hard I will miss you Court

  • Pam, Wayne and Adam Hargis Posted October 13, 2020 8:37 PM

    Dear McDonald Family,
    It is with great sadness that we received the news of your loss. Your family has been so special to us over the years from Murrell Taylor all the way through to high school. Sharing band and other school activities with you and Courtland and the other children are some of our most precious memories. We are holding all of in our prayers for God’s comfort and peace. We will be praying for all of you.

  • Jacqueline Johnson Posted October 13, 2020 9:26 PM

    Sorry for your loss praying for your family during this time of sorrow

  • Greg Love Posted October 13, 2020 9:37 PM

    Praying for your family in this time of loss. May God wrap his living around the entire family during this difficult time.
    Greg and Alicia Love

  • Lillian Williams Dorse Posted October 13, 2020 9:51 PM

    Praying for your family,so sorry for your loss

  • Anthony Veasey Posted October 13, 2020 10:00 PM

    Rest Lil Bruh

  • Richard and Vicki Kiser Posted October 13, 2020 10:35 PM

    Many thoughts and prayers for all the McDonald’ family .

  • Mary & Jeff Twitty Posted October 13, 2020 10:36 PM

    Our prayers are with the McDonald family. So sorry for your loss.

  • Kurt and Debby Mattison Posted October 14, 2020 4:11 AM

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Court’s family. May God be with you and ease your pain during this time.

  • Kai Starks Posted October 14, 2020 6:40 AM

    Court was always a kind young man to me. I have so much respect for him. Much love to his unborn and wife. May his name live on ❤

  • Lauren Wickersham Posted October 14, 2020 9:00 AM

    Courtland was such a great role model to younger baseball players like my son, Jordan. He was so full of energy, and could knock the ball right out of the park, making it look so easy! He was respectful and kind, and always had a smile and a hug to offer. All our prayers are with the McDonald family and friends of Courtland. He will be dearly missed.

  • Mark Hollingsworth Posted October 14, 2020 11:52 AM

    My thoughts and prayers are with the McDonald Family…

  • Gloria Stevenson Posted October 14, 2020 12:04 PM

    Praying for the family

  • Kimberly Tell (Kim) Posted October 14, 2020 12:20 PM

    Sorry for your Lost. This has come as quite a Shock to me. I remember Court as a Baby (Most of your Children in fact). My Prayers are with your family at this time. This is Horrible and Shocking to me.

  • Wandaconway Posted October 14, 2020 12:42 PM

    My Condolences to the McDonald Family,sending y’all prayers and love I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Kimberly Tell (Kim) Posted October 14, 2020 1:34 PM

    Sorry for your loss.I am Shocked, Horrified and Sad.My Prayers are with your Family. I remember Court as a Baby. He was a Sweet, Good Young Man.

  • Janell Mason, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas Posted October 14, 2020 2:22 PM

    To the McDonald Family, we mourn the loss of Courtland with you and pray for the peace of understanding. He was such a fine young man. When Courtland worked with us at Ronald McDonald House, he was always kind to and considerate of the families staying here. He was such a gentleman with a calm demeanor, and knowing some of your family members, we could see the McDonald family spirit, and his Savior’s heart, in all he did. We will miss Courtland’s smile and presence. Prayers for each of you, and for Shai as she raises their child.

  • Nancy Tell-Hall Posted October 14, 2020 2:48 PM

    Words cannot describe our feelings. The McDonald family and the Tell family were, and still are, linked by memories that will be cherished for many years to come. Rest in peace Court. We know you are in a better place. It is my sincere belief that God desires good, pure souls every once in awhile to prove mankind still has these traits. Unfortunately for the living, we are faced with the loss of our loved ones. Now Court gets to free, truly free. Our love, thoughts, prayers, tears, and memories will always be with Bonnie and Larry, Mrs. Courtland McDonald, and the whole family. Rest, little Court, rest.

  • Herschelia Watson Posted October 14, 2020 2:49 PM

    Sorry for your loss. To let you know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Herschel Watson family

  • SHARON EASLEY Posted October 14, 2020 3:36 PM


  • Emily Piechocki Posted October 14, 2020 4:04 PM

    My prayers are with you all during this incredibly difficult time. Gone way too soon. Courtland was a very kind and respectful young man and I enjoyed working with him for the short time I knew him. Please know that I wish I could be at the services, but given limited seating, I want to leave more room for his family and close friends. I will be there in spirit, McDonald family.

    • Harry Torres Posted October 14, 2020 10:40 PM

      Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire McDonald family. My God continue to cover you all.
      Harry and Regginia Torres

      • Keyanna Cogshell Posted December 16, 2020 10:45 PM

        Oh wpw, I cant believe this I ran into you a Jacksonville Walmart not long ago it seemed. We use to talk and I had a crush on you back in middle school. You will truly be missed!

  • Derrick Allen Posted October 14, 2020 4:05 PM

    R.I.L my guy

  • Steven Pawloski Posted October 14, 2020 4:41 PM

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McDonald family.

  • Angela & Jerome Mack Posted October 14, 2020 6:58 PM

    LARRY, BONNIE AND THE FAMILY: Our prayers for the entire family. Losing a child is a hard pill to swallow, GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU & YOUR FAMILY.

  • The Fields Family Posted October 15, 2020 4:57 AM

    My sincere condolences and prayers are with you all .May God give you the strength you need to endure the upcoming days ahead.

  • Ms. Karen Wilson Posted October 15, 2020 7:00 AM

    So sorry to hear of your loss the EMC family will continue to lift your family in prayer.

  • Jack and Joyce Russell and Family Posted October 15, 2020 8:20 AM

    To the family of Court, We are so very sorry for your loss. Knowing Court was a Christian, knowing Jesus Christ as His Savior was the answer to our prayers. 2 Corinthians 5: 8, We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord (KJV). We are praying for strength for the family, in Jesus name..

  • Shawn Garner Posted October 15, 2020 8:41 AM

    So sorry for the loss. The family continues to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • The Bush Family Posted October 15, 2020 8:59 AM

    We send our sincere Prayers and Condolences to the McDonald family on the loss of Courtland. Someone we have known for many years thru Jacksonville youth baseball.

  • Brenda Lee Posted October 15, 2020 10:58 AM

    Bonnie please accept my deepest condolences for your family loss.
    I’m thinking about you and sending my love from Virginia.
    Please know you are in my prayers and thoughts

  • The Peterson and Mason Families Posted October 15, 2020 12:56 PM

    To our entire McDonald family, there are no words to express our sincere prayers and condolences to you during this time. Courtland will be truly missed by all and know that we are there with you in spirit. Hold onto the memories as they carry you through the days to come. If you need anything please do not hesitate to reach out. We love you unconditionally.
    Cousins Katherine Peterson, Keisha & Marcus Mason

  • Loveida Ingram Posted October 15, 2020 3:39 PM

    So sorry for your loss. Praying for you all.

  • Leah Chapman Posted October 15, 2020 7:26 PM

    Deepest condolences to the entire family for this terrible loss. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  • John Toombs Posted October 15, 2020 8:11 PM

    So sorry for your loss. My sincere condolences and prayers are with all of you.

    1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

    But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

  • O.V. McDaniel Posted October 15, 2020 8:24 PM

    I am so very sorry to hear of your untimely demise. I pray that you Rest In Peace. Your family was proud of you and will miss you immensely.

  • Tequila Hicks Posted October 15, 2020 11:27 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My son Keenan has spoken highly of Courtland. They met each other at ABC and they played baseball together. I’ve seen videos of them both goofing around in the batting cages. They both loved the game. Sending my love and prayers .❤️🙏

  • Bishop James Bolden Posted October 16, 2020 1:49 AM

    I am praying for this entire family for strength from God through Christ

  • Lawanda Travis Posted October 16, 2020 6:17 AM

    For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who so ever may believe in him have ever lasting life. To my cousin in heaven you will be missed our hearts are heavy but your love, energy and memories are with us. For you were an example of love and God’s child learning to show love and humility to a world and others by your faith. Courtland I love you and miss you and you have your reward but are missed.

  • Wanda Eskridge Posted October 16, 2020 7:36 AM

    Praying for your strength in the Lord! So sorry for your loss!

  • Marie Hite Posted October 16, 2020 8:19 AM

    Praying for the family.

  • Mother A C Triplett October 16, 2020 Posted October 16, 2020 8:31 AM

    My heart felt condolences to the McDonald family. Praying for continued strength during this difficult time.

    Mother Triplett from Evangelistic Ministries Church

  • Esma Stewart Posted October 16, 2020 8:36 AM

    It was a pleasure working with Mr. Courtland at Methodist family health. I remember him always studying the bible in between checking on the kids. If anyone really got there wings, he definitely got his. My condolences to the wife and family. He often bragged how his wife cooked and cared for him. He will truly be missed

  • Detrick Jenkins Posted October 16, 2020 8:59 AM

    God’s Love! God’s Peace! God’s Hands! Love you all

  • Russ & Brenda Whaley Posted October 16, 2020 9:26 AM

    McDonald Family, know that our heart hurts at the loss of your Son Courtland. The pain a parent feels in the loss of a child is like no one can explain. Remain strong in your faith, trust in God and know that there is a reason and a season for all things – Ecclesiastes 3; 1-2. Brenda and I know that no words can express the proper feelings during a time as this – you are in our hearts and thoughts and prayers.

  • Terry & Mary Brown Posted October 16, 2020 10:01 AM

    Our deepest condolences to your entire family for this terrible loss. We’ll keep you in our prayers.

  • Katrina Mimms Posted October 16, 2020 10:30 AM

    So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with y’all during this difficult time. I have lots of memories of Courtland from my class and times at JHS.

  • LINDA YELDER Posted October 16, 2020 10:30 AM

    My sincere condolences.

  • Bernice Harris Posted October 16, 2020 10:57 AM

    Condolences to you and the family. Prayers are up, my heart ❤️ goes out to you!

  • Donna Catlett Hill Posted October 16, 2020 11:42 AM

    I am praying for comfort, strength, and guidance for the McDonald family. I know that your strength and peace is found in the Lord and in the unity of your family. . May God bless you and keep you.

  • Samantha Bolden Posted October 16, 2020 5:39 PM

    I worked with Courtland briefly and he seemed like such a genuine person with a good heart and he always had a smile on his face. His wife and family are in my prayers . RIP Courtland 🙏🏽🙏🏽

  • LaToya McGee Posted October 16, 2020 7:49 PM

    Sending my condolences and prayers to the McDonald family. I worked with Courtland at Methodist and it was never a dull moment when he was around. He was smart, funny, and helpful. His wisdom and smile are rememberable. RIL Mr. Courtland. You will be truly missed. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

  • Stacy & Rowena Byrd Posted October 19, 2020 7:48 AM

    To Bonnie and all the family, you all are in our continued thoughts and prayers. We pray for healing and peace today, tomorrow and in the days ahead. Continue to trust God. Much love to you all.

  • Stacy & Rowena Byrd Posted October 19, 2020 7:54 AM

    To Bonnie and all the family, you all are in our continued thoughts and prayers. We pray for healing and peace today, tomorrow and in the days ahead. Continue to trust God family. R.I.P Courtland Much love to you all.

  • Pearl johnson Posted October 24, 2020 12:27 PM

    Bonnie, I’m so sorry to hear that your son passed. Please know my prayers and heartfelt sympathy are with you and your family… Love your classmate….. Pearl

  • Pearl johnson Posted October 24, 2020 12:29 PM

    Bonnie, I’m sending prayers of comfort to you and your family…

  • Janet Coleman Posted October 28, 2020 5:53 PM

    Rip. My heart goes out to the family in this time. Bonnie, classmate I’ll always be here for you.

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