James Donald Lambert

August 28, 1931February 19, 2021

James D. (Don) Lambert, 89, of Smackover, passed away Friday, February 19, 2021. Born on August 28, 1931 to parents Minor A. and Pauline Milner Lambert.

He is survived by his wife Marvelene Martin Lambert and children Joe Martin Lambert of Smackover and Polly Polk and husband Travis of Fort Walton Beach, FL, grandchildren Mason Martin Lambert and Jordan Elaine Lambert of Lenexa, KS and Audrey Elizabeth Vigue (Noah) of Fort Walton Beach, FL. sister-in-law Elouise Carroum Lambert of Snyder, TX and brother-in-law Van Martin of Smackover. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother, Minor Derald Lambert, stepfather George Arthur Chambers, and sister-in-law Sarah Martin.

Don was a graduate of Smackover High School (class of '49) and the University of Arkansas and served in the United States Air Force with the 87th Troop Carrier Wing in Korea in 1952-53.

He has been a member of the First Baptist Church since 1940 and served as Deacon and Sunday School teacher. He owned Lambert's Department Store for 30 years and was the organizing director of the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources for its initial 18 years of operation.

Don was the recipient of Arkansas Community Development Awards in 1992; an Award of Appreciation from the Arkansas Legislature and the Senate in 2002; named as Smackover's Outstanding Citizen on 3 occasions and received the National Little League Baseball Outstanding Service Award for the State of Arkansas in 1967 and a Special Commendation Award for 18 years of service and as president of the Arkansas South Tourism Association.

He served two terms as Smackover's Mayor and was instrumental in organizing the Pine Hills Country Club, serving as president for 15 years. He served on the Board of Directors of the Union County Community Foundation and the Smackover High School Scholarship Committee. Don was regarded as a "Smackover Historian" and contributed Around Town columns in the Smackover Journal and later to several recipients through his email column.

A memorial graveside service will be held at 1:00 pm Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Cross Roads Cemetery under the direction of Young's Funeral Directors. Memorial can be made to First Baptist Church, 201 West Seventh, Smackover, AR 71762 or to the Smackover Public Library, 700 North Broadway, Smackover, AR 71762.

Condolences may be made online at


  • Graveside Memorial Service

    Saturday, March 6, 2021


James Donald Lambert

have a memory or condolence to add?

Brandell Ziegler

February 27, 2021

Uncle Donald was such a fun, loving person. I loved visiting. Going to the museum,hearing all the stories he would tell us. He always made me laugh. Heaven gained a Sweet man.

Lauren Collier

February 22, 2021

I was so sad to hear of Uncle Donald’s passing. He was always a bright spot when we came to Arkansas. He gave the BEST tours of the museum!! I’ll never forget his sweet smile, good tight hugs, and his stories that never ended and were rarely told the same way twice! (I might’ve inherited that from him😉) I loved to see he and Grandpa different as night and day and the perfect compliment to one another. Mammaw sure did good with the both of them. ❤️ Love you all! ❤️

Becky Holloway Thompson

February 22, 2021

Don’s wisdom and wit were wonderful. I am grateful for his writings and for his Sunday school lessons I was privileged to benefit from. I smile as I wonder if he and Jimmy Don are now discussing sports (Buckaroos in particular) in heaven.
My sincere sympathy for all of you who feel great loss. May God bless you with His comfort and peace now and in the days to come. ♥️🙏🏻♥️

Brad Newman

February 22, 2021

I am so sorry to learn of Mr. Lambert's passing. I have literally a lifetime of memories -- everything from trying on clothes and shoes at Lambert's to going to ballgames to discussing Smackover history, and so much more. He was a constant presence in my life for as long as I can remember. Smackover has lost another of the men who once were the heart and soul of the town. My sympathy to Mrs. Lambert, Joe, and my classmate Polly.

Pam Beasley

February 22, 2021

Mrs. Lambert, Joe and Polly,
I'm so sorry to hear of Mr. Lambert's passing. He taught me so much about the history of the area and it's people. He was a great mentor and someone I respected greatly. I've been able to take his teachings to my next location, but my heart will always be in Smackover. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Carla Sutherland

February 22, 2021

Mrs. Lambert, Joe and Polly....

Sending my condolences in hearing of the passing of Mr. Lambert and your father.

Sharon Valentine

February 21, 2021

Mrs, Lambert, Joe, and Polly
My thoughts and prayers have been with all of you since I heard of his passing. These days will get better because God is watching over all of you. Mr. Lambert was a good man, respected by all. He will be remembered for many, many years. Love, Sharon

Jaunita Pyle

February 20, 2021

Love and prayers for Marvelene, Joe, Polly and family! May the many good memories help see you through this difficult time! Also may you experience the peace only God can give to strengthen you during the coming days!

Kenneth Landers

February 20, 2021

He was a great man to the community as well as highly respected by all, he will be missed greatly, prayers for all the family

Jeanne Clements

February 20, 2021

Mr. Lambert was my boss when The Museum of Natural Resources was still the Oil and Brine Museum. He was simply the best boss I ever had. He was kind, very intelligent and always a gentleman. Smackover will miss him. My condolences to the family.