Groce Funeral Home & Cremation Service Assuring Absolute Integrity



Staff Directory

Once you request the services of Groce Funeral Home & Cremation Service, we will immediately put our experienced funeral professionals to work for you. A single, dedicated individual will stay in contact with you every step of the way and guide you through the decision-making process. He or she will carefully explain your options, make recommendations at your request, take care of all the small details, and ensure that you and your family’s personal touch is always present.

 Dale Groce

Co-Owner/Funeral Director

Dale Groce was born in Asheville and is a son of the late W.H. "Bill" and Mary D. Groce. He graduated from Lee H. Edwards High School, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Dallas, Texas, Institute Of Mortuary Science. He served four years overseas in the Air Force before returning to Asheville and joining Groce Funeral Home in 1974. He has served as District Director of the NC Funeral Directors Association and is former chairman of the First Citizens Bank Funeral Services Advisory Board and former treasurer of the West Asheville Business Association. He is married to Asheville native, Terrie Starnes, daughter of Glenn and Blanche Starnes, and they have one daughter, Kristina, a graduate of Furman University who received her MA in Psychology from Wake Forest University and her PhD in Psychology from NC State University. She and her husband, Benjamin T. Brown, PhD, are both on the Psychology faculty of Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, GA and are the parents of a son, William Dale Brown.

 W.H. "Bill" Groce, Jr.

Co-Owner/Funeral Director

W.H. "Bill" Groce, Jr. was born in Asheville and is a son of the late W.H. "Bill" and Mary D. Groce, Sr. He graduated from Lee. H. Edwards High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a N.C. licensed funeral director and was twice elected by his peers in funeral service to serve on the N.C. State Board of Mortuary Science (the state regulatory and licensing agency). He was chosen by this group as president, and while on the board he helped formulate and institute new and stringent regulations that help protect consumers, especially regulations relating to pre-payment of funeral expenses. In addition, he is a multi-gallon blood and pheresis donor at the American Red Cross and is a member of the UNC Education Foundation and the Board of Directors of First Citizens Bank. He and his wife, Rhoda, daughter of Jack and Mary Jean McCook of Greensboro, have two sons, Scott and W.H. (Trey) Groce, III.  

 Ricky C. Adams

Funeral Director

Rick began work in funeral service in 1978, and joined with the Groces in January, 2007. He is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service. He has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer since 1990. In addition to cooking for family and friends, Rick enjoys riding his Harley, fishing and hunting. He is the proud father and grandfather of two daughters and three granddaughters.

 Brian Ballard 

Funeral Director

Brian Ballard is a native of Buncombe County, and a graduate of both Liberty University and Fayetteville Technical Community College. Brian became a licensed funeral director in 2011. He is the son of Gary and Rebecca Ballard. Brian is a member of Biltmore Baptist Church and loves to run in his spare time.

 Greg Gillespie

Funeral Director

Greg Gillespie is a graduate of Worsham College in Chicago, IL, and has been in the funeral industry since 1990, and with Groce since 2006. Greg is married to Julie and has two children, Emily and Aidan. In his spare time, Greg enjoys spending time with his family, fresh/saltwater fishing, and playing golf.

 Trey Groce

Funeral Director

W.H.(Trey) Groce III is one of the fourth generation of Groces to serve Western North Carolina at Groce Funeral Homes. He was born in Asheville and is a son of Bill and Rhoda M. Groce. He is a graduate of Carolina Day School, the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta.

 Scott Lynch

Funeral Director

Scott Lynch has been a resident of Arden all his life and graduated from T.C. Roberson High School and Gupton Jones Mortuary College in Atlanta. He began his funeral service career in 1973 and joined our firm in 1977 as as a funeral director and embalmer. As a graduate of the Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute, he was ordained into the ministry in 1996. He is a member of Arden First Baptist Church.

 Bradley K. Van Steenis

Funeral Director/Preneed Specialist

Brad joined our staff in March, 2009, as Director of Pre-need Services. As a licensed funeral director, pre-need counselor, and insurance agent, he is available to our families to assist with pre-planning options and insurance needs. Brad studied general education and theology at Bethany Bible College in Santa Cruz., CA and is a graduate of Virginia Highlands Community College with a business management degree.

 Sara Preston Van Steenis

Funeral Director/Preneed Specialist

Sarah also joined our staff in March, 2009, as a pre-planning and aftercare counselor. As a licensed funeral director and insurance agent, she is available to assist families with pre-planning decisions and insurance needs. She also oversees our Aftercare program, ensuring that our bereaved families receive continual care after the loss of a loved one. Sarah received her BA degree in Fine Art from Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, VA.

 R. Allen Williams

Funeral Director

R. Allen Williams, better known as Al, former owner and manager of Williams Funeral Service in Asheville, joined our staff as funeral director and embalmer in February, 2000. Williams is a native of Asheville and is the son of Patsy H. Williams and the late Roy A. Williams, Sr., who worked with the Groces in the 1940's before founding Williams Funeral Service on Spruce Street in Asheville. In announcing Williams employment, Dale Groce stated that he is pleased that the six decades of friendship between our two families have come full circle with Mr. Williams returning to family-owned funeral service with Groce. Williams is a 1986 graduate of Reynolds High School and a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta where he was a member of Pi Sigma Eta Honorary Fraternity. He is married to Richelle (Reinoehl) Williams and is a member of the Oakley United Methodist Church, the Biltmore Masonic Lodge #446, AF & AM, the Scottish Rite and the Oasis Shrine.

 Scott Groce 

Funeral Director

Scott Groce is a fourth generation member of Groce Funeral Home. He is a graduate of Carolina Day School and is currently completing the funeral director's program through Fayetteville Technical Community College. Scott was born and raised in Asheville and is a son of Bill and Rhoda M. Groce. He has been a full-time member of the Groce staff since 2004. In addition to spending time with family and friends, Scott enjoys his role as a varsity boys' basketball coach at Carolina Day School.

 Phillip Warren II

Funeral Director

Phillip was born in Asheville and is a six year veteran of the US Army, 25th Infantry Division, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1-27 Infantry Battalion (Wolfhounds). He joined the Groces part-time in2014, graduating from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta in March, 2016. He came on board full time in April, 2016. He enjoys spending his fre time with his two children, Katelyn and Braedan. He also enjoys watching the Atlanta Braves and NASCAR.

 Jonathan Brogden

Funeral Director

Jonathan is a graduate of Gupton –Jones College of Funeral Service and has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer since 2009. He enjoys raising and training his dogs and has won multiple trophies in bench press Power Lifting.

 Terrell Ballard

Funeral Assistant

Terrell Ballard is an Asheville native and a graduate of Valley Springs High School. He attended two years of business college and retired after 40 years with General Electric. He and his wife, Dee, are the parents of two grown children, Julie Perkins of Charlotte and Tommy Ballard, who lives in Asheville. Terrell has been with the Groces since 1993 and he and Dee are members of West Asheville Baptist Church. He is also an Army Veteran of the Korean conflict. 

 Wilton "Pug" Moore

Funeral Assistant

Wilton "Pug" Moore is the man responsible for maintaining the spotless appearance of Groce's West Asheville location. He is a native of Buncombe County and has a special interest in law enforcement. For more than 30 years we have depended on his abilities and his dedication.

 Carlie Rogers

Funeral Assistant

Carlie Rogers is a graduate of Sand Hill High School and Asheville-Buncombe Technical College. He and his wife, the former Barbara (Bobbi) Early, have two daughters, Terri Miller and Vicki Morgan, four grandchildren and one greatgrandson. They are actively involved in various ministries of West Asheville Baptist Church and enjoy the beach, deep sea and lake fishing.

 Lane Taylor

Funeral Assistant

Lane Taylor grew up in West Asheville and attended St. Joan of Arc, Gibbons Hall, Asheville Catholic High School, and T.C. Roberson High School, and worked his way through Western Carolina University doing construction work. He married Karen Emerson in 1977 and worked building homes in the Asheville area. They enjoy hiking, camping, and bird watching, and spend much of their available time off enjoying the area parks and national forests. They are members of St. George's Episcopal Church where he serves on the church Vestry, the building committee, and is also involved with the youth group. He has served as a leader to the BSA Troop 46, and has been a member of the Jaycees. He has worked with the Groces since 1996.

 Bob Fisher

Funeral Assistant

Bob attended Swain High School and served in the Far East with the US Marine Corps. Returing home he married his high school sweetheart, Jean Battle in 1957. They have two sons, Michael and Philip, five grandchildren and one great-grandson. He graduated from Holiday Inn University in Olive Branch. MS in motel management and worked for Holiday Inn and Comfort Inn for 25 years, retiring in 1999. He came to us as a funeral assistant in March, 2000.

 Bernie Acevedo

Funeral Assistant

Bernie joined Groce Funeral Home in 2015. He and his wife, Catherine, married in 2005. He enjoys motorcycle riding, hiking, camping, and just about any activity that will let him enjoy the outdoors.

 Dennis Quinlan

Funeral Assistant

Dennis moved to Asheville from Ann Arbor, MI in 2009 with his lovely wife Maxine and mother Joan. He has been with Groce Funeral Home since March, 2014. He and Maxine are animal lovers and have taken in an adorable Carne Terrier named Wembley and a feisty kitten, Olivia. Dennis loves sports, gardening and working in his new home in Weaverville.

 Tony Huntsinger

Funeral Assistant

Tony grew up in South Buncombe County and is a graduate of TC Roberson High School. He attended Mississippi State University and served four years in the US Air Force. He retired as General Manager with Ingles. He is President of the Board of Directors of the Skyland Fire Dept., a member of Pinecrest Presbyterian Church, and is an avid sports enthusiast. He and his wife Linda have four children, Toni, Wade, Stacie and Jodi, and five great-grandchildren.

 Gerry Broome


Gerry, in addition to being a former teacher's aide at Claxton Elementary School, is our staff hairdresser. She and her husband, Doug, who retired from Groce after 30 years serving WNC families, have two grown children, Melinda and Rodney, and two grandchildren, Kinsley & Carter. They are active members of West Asheville Baptist Church.

 Anne Morgan

Office Administrator

Anne is a resident of Skyland, the daughter of the late Raymond and Mary Ann Elingburg. She serves a secretary at the Lake Julianlocation and has two children, Tina Dillingham and Steve Morgan, of Arden. She is a former employee at the Register of Deeds and is a member of the American Cancer Society and the Great Smoky Mountain Cloggers. Her hobby is baking cakes and making candy.

 Leslie Morris

Office Administrator

Leslie Morris has worked in retail customer service for over 39 years and with the Groces since 1996. She is a native of Raleigh where she received a degree in Fashion Merchandising from Hardbarger Business College. She and husband Bruce have been married since 1972 and have two grown children, Zachary and Rebecca. They are members of St. George's Episcopal Church where Leslie served as Church Secretary for 13 years, member of the Vestry, President of the Episcopal Church Women, Sunday School teacher and Girl Scout leader. She enjoys traveling, shopping for antiques, and decorating.

 Hillary Tweed Pennstrom

Office Administrator

Hillary is a native of Asheville, and is a graduate of Asheville High School and UNC-Asheville. She and her husband Zack live in Mills River, and are active members of Missio Dei Church. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and being outdoors.

 Deborah Davis

Staff Organist/Pianist

Deborah Davis is our staff organist. She received her B.S. degree in Music Education from Western Carolina University and did postgraduate work at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, and also at the University of South Carolina. She studied organ extensively with Dr. Marilyn Keiser, and was organist at West Asheville Baptist Church for 21 years.


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Lake Julian | 72 Long Shoals Road | Arden, NC 28704 | 828-687-3530
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