Hilbert "Bert" Crist Councell


July 9, 1928 ~ August 24, 2022

Born in: Ridley Park, PA
Resided in: Fletcher, NC

Bert Councell went to sleep in his earthly bed, weak & frail at 94 years old, and he woke up in Paradise more alive than he’s ever been on Wednesday, August 24, 2022.

He was an only child – born in Ridley Park, PA, on July 9, 1928. He spent his childhood in Cordova, MD, where he was reared by his beloved Grandmother. After he graduated from Easton High School, he attended Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. He married Barbara Jean Peck in 1950, and they soon began a family which grew & grew, culminating in 6 children.

Their early years were enjoyed on the island of Nassau, Bahamas, where Bert was the manager of “The Nassau Shop”, a lovely department store. Later, the mountains of Asheville, NC, became their home base while Bert finished his remaining professional years as a purveyor of jewelry throughout the Caribbean. He retired in 1991. Sometime later, he moved to Fletcher, NC.

During his lifetime, he said a temporary good-bye to his wife of 62 years, to his eldest daughter, Abigail Leigh (17 years old), and to his eldest son, Paul Douglas (62 years old). They are all reunited now. Talk about a joyous reunion!

He is survived by 4 living children: Dr. Richard Bruce Councell & his wife, Chris (Asheville, NC), Daniel Peter Councell & his wife, Lorraine (Hendersonville, NC), John Mark Councell & his wife, Tori (Landrum, SC), and his daughter, Julia Councell Roberson & her husband, Dr. Joe Roberson (Palo Alto, CA). Additionally, he is survived by 17 grandchildren & 19 great grandchildren (with 3 more on the way). He sure made up for being an only child!

Bert enjoyed good food, travel, playing the piano, singing hymns, gardening & loving on his dog(s). Were anyone to have asked him the secret to true satisfaction, he, unhesitatingly, would have said it was by knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Imperfect Bert knew well the Amazing Grace that had saved a wretch like him!

In his final years, he was blessed with the best caregivers; these women gave him a 5 star exit into eternity.

Bert’s funeral service will be private, but all are welcome to attend the visitation from 2:00-3:00 PM on Sunday, October 9 at Groce Funeral Home on Patton Avenue, followed by his burial at Green Hills Cemetery at 3:00 PM and then a picnic at Carrier Park from 5:00-7:00 PM.

The family requests that any memorials be made to The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC, 28201.


Visitation: October 9, 2022 2:00 pm - April 15, 2024 3:00 pm

Room: Chapel

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


Burial: October 9, 2022 3:00 pm

Green Hills Cemetery
25 New Leicester Hwy.
Asheville, NC 28806


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Memories Timeline


  1. May God comfort your hearts at this time. We are praying for the family. Diane Hoffman Darrell and Renee Hoffman

  2. Dear Dr. Councell & Family,
    My heart goes out to you in your moments of grief. My deepest condolences to you and your family. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. My first memory of Bert and Barbara was during the 1977 Billy Graham Crusade in Asheville. Over the years we visited many times when he would come into the Webb Agency-and was even privileged to take him to lunch a few times. One of the finest, most Godly men I have ever known. He’s Home now-singing and praising!!

  4. In the 1960’s when I as a young girl decided that God was dead, our family would go to the Bahamas and visit our cousins and Aunt Barbara and Uncle Bert. My conclusion that God was dead seemed hollow against a family that, while not perfect, they loved the Lord Jesus. So when the Lord worked salvation in my heart that summer, I knew where to go to get guidance. Uncle Bert and Aunt Barbara were a tremendous help to me in those first days of my faith. I remain grateful for their prayers and guidance.

  5. John Mark and Tori, So sorry to read of Mr Councell’s passing. What a blessing for all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren to have known him in this life. Sending deepest sympathy and condolences for your loss and hope your memories will ease the pain of your grief. I think of your family often, especially when reminiscing of my time in The Dordogne.

  6. My heart is full of love right now for the entire Councell family. Bert was an amazing storyteller. He loved Jesus and was ready to meet him. He is with his wonderful wife Barbara now as well as his two children in heaven. I am sure he is enjoying every minute.

  7. Your parents always provided such a lovely and loving environment whenever we visited their home from Ben Lippen! I trust you will have a great time reliving old memories and being together as a family as you celebrate his homegoing.

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