Mr. Billy Jack "B.J." Groce of the Open Pond Community in Holmes County received his heavenly reward Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. He was 73. B.J. was born July 9, 1940, in Holmes County, to the late Floyd Gay and Elma Baker Groce. First and foremost he loved his Lord and Savior, his family, his church and winning souls for the kingdom of heaven. He was very dedicated in every aspect. He enjoyed playing the guitar and singing praises to the Lord. He also enjoyed farming and gardening, but most of all working with his cattle. After more than 30 years of service he retired from Geneva Cotton Mill/Clinton Mills as a shipping clerk and warehouse supervisor. He always had a smile and a kind word for everyone he came in contact with. He was a pillar in his community and will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him. B.J. was a member of the Open Pond United Pentecostal Church.
In addition to his parents, a sister, Joyce Whitehead, and two brothers, L.D. and Roger Groce, all preceded him in death.
Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Jacqueline Sessions Groce; one daughter and son-in-law, Clarissa and Steve Connell; one son and daughter-in-law, Lance and Jennifer Groce; three grandchildren, Andrew and Hannah Connell and Kaeson Groce, all of Westville; two sisters, Betty Hudson and husband Alvin, Westville, and Reba Sconiers, Bonifay; several nieces, nephews, other extended family and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 in the Open Pond United Pentecostal Church with his son-in-law the Rev. Steven Connell and his brother-in-law the Rev. Tom Lawrence officiating. Mr. Groce was placed into the church one hour prior to service time. Burial followed in the Campground Cemetery with Sorrells Funeral Home and Crematory of Geneva directing. The family received friends at the funeral home Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. Flowers will be accepted or contributions may be made to Covenant Hospice, 4215 Kelson Avenue, Suite E, Marianna, FL 32446.