Arkansas family hosts funeral service in front yard

Around Arkansas

MARIANNA, Ark. (WREG) — A Marianna family paid their final respects to a loved one Saturday, but the funeral was different from most.

Instead of being held inside a church, Shunda Daniels’ funeral was held in her family’s front yard.

“This is my first front yard experience,” said Ronald Broussard, director of Eternal Light Funeral Services.

Broussard said original plans called for a graveside service, but when flooding cut off access to the cemetery, and social distancing requirements ruled out a church service, the front yard was the next best thing.

In fact, it may have been a blessing in disguise.

“It was always her dream to have her service on her grandfather’s and grandmother’s land,” Broussard said.

The location wasn’t the only unconventional thing about Daniels’ funeral.

Like most services taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the mourners wore masks and kept healthy distances from each other.

“I told them what we would have to do is spread out the chairs … to create social distancing, and for those family members that live at the same house, you don’t have to social distance because you’re living together,” Broussard said.

While it may have been Broussard’s first front yard funeral, it may not be his last.

“It winded up being a wonderful, wonderful service,” he said.

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