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Billy Thomas "Bill" Groce (1936 - 2012)

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Groce, Billy "Bill" Thomas Entered into eternal life on March 15, 2012. He was 75 years old. Bill was born April 16, 1936 in Pittsburg, TX. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Marlene Keeling Groce; brother, David Groce; and parents, Jake and Dollie Reene Brannan Groce. Bill is survived by his two children and two grandchildren: son Jeff and his wife, Rose of McKinney, TX, and son Darren and his fiancé, Niki Blaske of Lake Cherokee, TX, and his children, Matt and Rachel. He had an extended loving family of relatives and friends. Bill graduated from Pittsburg (TX) High School in 1954, where he was a standout football player as a fullback. He was known as a good guy, carried his fame lightly and was everyone's hero. Bill married Marlene on August 8, 1957 at the First United Methodist Church in Pittsburg. He attended Southern Methodist University on a football scholarship. After one season, he transferred to North Texas State College (now UNT) in Denton where he played fullback, earned a BS and MS in Education and was a member of Theta Chi fraternity. During his senior year, the football team won the 1959 Missouri Valley Conference Championship. They played in the 1959 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. After graduation, Bill was recruited by the Pittsburgh Steelers but was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in Mannheim, Germany. During Bill's career at Texas Instruments, the family moved to Tokyo, Japan, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They returned to the Dallas area in the late 70s, living in Richardson and in Midland until retiring in McKinney. Bill was a member of the TI Alumni Group. Bill enjoyed spending time with family and friends, winning matches on the golf course, going out to dinner, telling stories, doing projects and fishing at the lake cabin in Pittsburg. He loved gardening and liked sharing vegetables from his garden with family, friends and neighbors. He was very fond of his Pomeranian dog, Shadow. His passion was golf and he played three times a week with the seniors at Eldorado Country Club in McKinney. He was active in the First United Methodist Church of McKinney and the First United Methodist Church of Pittsburg. Bill loved spending time with his sister-in-law, Glo Groce, nieces, nephew and their families: Gail and Ken Munn, Patti and John Hubrel, Laura and Rookie Richardson, Stephen and Patty Groce, Cissy Parrish, and Julie and Dale Wetzel at family gatherings in East Texas. Friends and family are invited to remember and celebrate Bill's life at the visitation from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21st at Erman Smith Funeral Home, 315 Rusk Street in Pittsburg, TX. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 22nd at the First United Methodist Church, 109 College Street in Pittsburg. Interment will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery. There will be a second memorial service at the First United Methodist Church of McKinney, 315 North Church Street in McKinney, TX at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 29th. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Pittsburg, 109 College Street, Pittsburg, TX 75686; the First United Methodist Church of McKinney, 315 North Church Street, McKinney, TX 75069 or the SPCA of Texas, 2400 Lone Star Drive, Dallas, TX 75212 in Bill's memory.

Published in Dallas Morning News from Mar. 20 to Mar. 25, 2012
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