The owners of A Natural State Funeral Service
2620 West Main Street
Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076
Find us on Google Maps
(501) 982-3400 Phone
(501) 982-3410 Fax
The staff of A Natural State Funeral Service takes the concept of life and death seriously – a funeral is a time to honor the life of the deceased and celebrate the heritage of their family. We strive to make each funeral a respectful, fulfilling experience that meets the unique needs of each family.
We wish to extend to you our condolences and prayers as you deal with a delicate time of grief over the loss of your loved one. It is our mission to handle your funeral needs with the utmost care and respect.
Please contact us with any questions that you have, as every question and concern is as important to us, as it is to you.
President / Funeral Director / Pre-Need Counselor
Since losing his great grandmother at a young age Matt always wanted to be in the funeral business. He knew it was his calling to help families during their time of loss to help them find peace knowing their loved one was treated with the utmost dignity and respect at a price that is reasonable and affordable for any family. Matt’s dream came true in 2015 when he and his partners opened A Natural State Funeral Service.
His passion is helping families during their time of grief through his ministry as a Funeral Director and Pre-needs Counselor.
At the age of 14 he began working at the Leader Publishing Company as an Advertising Sales Representative and moved into the role of their Publications Manager where he spent the past 25 years serving local businesses and print customers. Matt is a 1996 graduate of Jacksonville High School and is an active member of the community. He has served on the Board of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the board for the South Bend Volunteer Fire Department. When Matt is not at the funeral home or newspaper he spends his time as an avid hunter, outdoorsman and dedicated volunteer and state leader for Ducks Unlimited.
Matt attends McArthur Assembly of God in Jacksonville and lives in Cabot with his beautiful wife of over 13 years, Brandy, and their son, Joshua, a junior at Cabot High School.
John Curtis Alexander Smith
Managing Funeral Director / Embalmer
Alex has over nine years of experience serving Central Arkansas families. He graduated from Henderson State University with a bachelor’s degree in business and earned an associate’s degree in mortuary science and a certificate in funeral directing from the University of Arkansas Community College in Hope.
Funeral Director / Pre-Need Counselor
Jill has lived in Jacksonville since 1975. She graduated from Des Arc High School, in 1968, and has been a licensed Funeral Director since 2012. She is also a pre-need counselor and helps families plan ahead for their funeral needs.
Jill is a member of Marshall Road Baptist Church in Jacksonville. She has two children, Ashley and Leighann Drake of Bay, AR, and Greg and Dana Rozenski of Jacksonville. She is ‘Nana’ to her grandson, T. J.
William was born in Fresno, California. However; at a young age he moved with his mother to Eaton Rapids, Michigan, closer to his Maternal grandmother. He graduated Eaton Rapids High School in 1990. His education and his excellent athletic abilities awarded him a scholarship to Central Michigan College, in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. He met his Paternal grandmother, who lived in Centerville, Arkansas, and was so comforted and inspired by the Southern Hospitality that she showed, that when she asked him to come to Arkansas to stay with her for a while, he couldn’t resist. He had no idea of what Arkansas would hold for him. He had no idea what kind of job he wanted to do, or what his calling would eventually be. He started working as a salesman at a local furniture store and met and married Cristal, in 1996. They never have a dull moment, having been blessed with an amazing large family that includes children Cassie, Christopher and Clinton, and 9 grandchildren!
William started working at a cemetery in Russellville, in 1995, as a pre-need counselor and selling cemetery property. He felt rewarded when he was able to assist people with the difficult task of what to do when the time comes, and how to make it easier for their loved ones. He was offered and accepted a position to move to Jacksonville, where he began his Funeral Director’s Apprenticeship. He discovered that he has a passion for helping people of all ages, to prepare for as well as deal with death, whether it be their own, or for someone they love. He empowers them with the tools that they need to understand their options so that they will make knowledgeable decisions.
While William was employed in Jacksonville, he was active in the community and was the President of the Kiwanis Club. He served as a commissioner on the Board of Adjustment and Planning Commissioner for Jacksonville. He was also a member of the Rotary Club.
He has been a licensed funeral director since 1998. He has worked in the Central Arkansas area, as well as managed Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home, and most recently worked Little Rock Funeral Home.
William is excited to come home to Jacksonville and be part of the team at A Natural State Funeral Service and is looking forward to serving his local community.
Funeral Director / Ordained Minister
Kenneth “Kenny” has been a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, Arkansas, where he graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1996.
Kenny has been on the South Bend Fire Department since 1995, and for the last 11 years he has been the Fire Chief of South Bend Fire District. He has been married for 20 years to his beautiful wife, Susanne Fraley, and they have two wonderful children.
He is a member of, and attends, First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. He is a Zone Chairman for District 10 with Ducks Unlimited, local volunteer with Ducks Unlimited, is a member of the Arkansas State Firefighters Association, is a member of the Fire Chief’s Association, is an Arkansas Licensed Funeral Director, and he recently became an Ordained Minister.
When Kenny and his family are not enjoying time together, he is an avid duck hunter, and he enjoys fishing, hunting, golfing and volunteering where needed.
Dara L Gross
Funeral Director / Embalmer Apprentice
Dara has been serving Arkansas families for more than 4 years in Central Arkansas. She is a graduate of the Mortuary Science program at ASUMH, for Funeral Directing and Embalming.
Dara resides in the Sherwood area with her better half, William, and their two daughters. Dara enjoys traveling, photography, hockey, and spending time with her family.
Dr. William “Buster” Lackey
Funeral Director / Counselor
Buster started his Funeral career in 1992 at George A. Smith and Sons Funeral Home, while attending Union University in Jackson,TN. Buster served the last 12 years as Funeral Director/Chaplain at Huson Funeral Homes until its recent closing. He then joined the “A Natural State Funeral Service” family, in 2016.
Buster holds degrees in Counseling and Psychology and a Certificate in Thanatology.
With his education, Buster leads grief support groups around the state and has lectured on Death and Dying issues across the nation.
Buster is a lifelong resident of Pulaski County, and currently resides in North Little Rock. He is a graduate of Central Arkansas Christian School High School. Buster attends First Assembly of God, in North Little Rock, where he serves as connections class teacher.
Buster, and his wife, Crystal, have three daughters, Elizabeth 18, Emma 16, and Annalise 9. Buster and his daughters can be found training their German Shepherds on most weekends. He and is an avid skeet/trap shooter, and he loves to hike the beautiful, Arkansas countryside. Buster is serving his second term as elected Constable for North Pulaski County, Hill Township.
Apprentice Funeral Director / Pre-Need Counselor
Aftercare Specialist / Pre-Need Counselor
Aftercare Specialist / Pre-Need Counselor
Office Manager / Family Support Specialist
Wendy was born and raised in southwestern Missouri. She followed the love of her life to central Arkansas in 1997, where they raised their two boys into wonderful young men. When she’s not serving families in their time of need, Wendy spoils her two grandsons. Wendy enjoys quilting, fishing, and trail riding, when it’s not football season. Wendy began her career in the funeral industry in 2013, where she found her calling helping families on the administrative side of the funeral industry.
Family Services Specialist
Danielle Strout grew up in a military family. She lived on a few military bases until her disabled Veteran father separated from the Air Force and settled in Ward. After graduating with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, from Arkansas State University at Beebe in 2009, she enlisted in the Arkansas Air National Guard. She has since transferred to the Air Force Reserve unit at Little Rock AFB, and continues to serve as a Reservist with her 3 younger brothers.
Danielle enjoys spending most of her time with her two girls and new husband. In her “spare time” Danielle is completing her Bachelors Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, volunteer’s as a South Bend Firefighter (where she is able to utilize her Hazardous Materials Technician Level 2), enjoys hunting, crafting and cooking with her Mom and oldest daughter, and spending time outdoors. Danielle is definitely a people person, enjoys helping families with Administration services, and learning and helping all she can with military families.
Funeral Assistant / Chaplain