Our Caring Staff
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 was born in Asheville and is a son of the late Mary D. and W.H. "Bill" Groce, Sr. 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 the late 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.
Bill was born in Asheville and is a son of the late Mary D. and W.H. "Bill" Groce, Sr. He graduated from Lee. H. Edwards High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a NC licensed funeral director and was twice elected by his peers in funeral service to serve on the N.C. State Board of Funeral Service (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. He and his wife, Rhoda, daughter of Mary Jean McCook and the late Jack McCook, of Greensboro, have two sons, Scott and W.H. “Trey” Groce, III. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his three grandchildren, Mary Carter, William and Elizabeth “Liz”.
Scott is a fourth-generation member of Groce Funeral Home. He is a graduate of both Carolina Day School and Fayetteville Technical Community College, where he earned his Funeral Service license. Scott was born and raised in Asheville and is a son of Bill and Rhoda M. Groce. He worked at the funeral home during the summers of his teenage years and has been a full-time member of the staff since 2004. He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Mills River and have three children, Mary Carter, William and Elizabeth. In addition to spending time with his family, Scott enjoys his role as a member of the Board of Trustees at Carolina Day School.
Trey is one of the fourth generation of Groces to serve Western North Carolina at Groce Funeral Home. 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 Funeral Service. Trey finds fulfillment in helping families and serving the community. In his spare time, he enjoys being with family and friends, and watching and participating in sports.
Ricky C. Adams
Rick began work in funeral service in 1978, and joined with the Groces in January 2007. He is a Honor 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 five grandchildren.
Brian has been with Groce Funeral Home since 2002. He graduated Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, with a degree in Finance and then went on to become a licensed funeral director in 2011, graduating from Fayetteville Technical Community College. He is married to his wonderful wife, Laura Ballard, and together they have two children, Haven and Bo. Brian is a member of Lake Hills Church in Candler and in his spare time loves being with his family and exercising.
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 power lifting.
A life-long resident of Western North Carolina, Greg is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force serving at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Graduating with honors from Worsham University in Chicago, Ill., he has worked in the funeral service industry since 1990. He has been with Groce Funeral Homes, specifically the Lake Julian location, since 2006. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, fishing and landscape design.
Scott is a graduate of T.C. Roberson High School and a lifelong resident of Arden. He is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service and Fruitland Baptist Bible College. He began his funeral service career in 1973 and became licensed in funeral directing and embalming in 1975. Scott began his employment with us in 1977. He is now retired but still assists on funerals. Scott is a member of Hendersonville First Baptist Church.
After spending eight years in radio as news director/announcer for stations in Pennsylvania and Virginia, Jonathan returned to college in 1996 to obtain his degree in funeral service from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He is also a 1988 graduate of Liberty University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. He joined the staff of Groce Funeral Home in August 2017, after returning to the Asheville area for the third time. Residing in Mills River, Jonathan enjoys hiking, biking, cooking, and black and white film photography.
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.
Sarah 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 oversees our Aftercare program, ensuring that our
bereaved families receive continual care. Sarah received her BA degree in Fine Art from Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, VA.
Phillip Warren II
Phillip was born in Asheville, NC, and is a six-year veteran of the US Army, 25th Infantry Division, 1-27 Infantry Battalion (Wolfhounds). He joined the Groce Funeral Home family in May 2014. Phillip graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in 2016 and became a licensed funeral director and embalmer in 2017. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Sherri, his two children, Katelyn and Braedan, and his grandson, Grayson. Phillip also enjoys watching the Atlanta Braves.
R. Allen Williams, Jr.
Al is the former owner and manager of Williams Funeral Service, Asheville, and joined our staff as a funeral director and embalmer in February 2000. Al 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 1940s before founding Williams Funeral Service on Spruce Street in Asheville. Al is a 1986 graduate of A.C. Reynolds High School and a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service, where he was a member of Pi Sigma Eta Honorary Fraternity. He is married to Richelle Reinoehl Williams and a proud father to their daughter, Hannah Jane Williams. He is a 25+ year member of the Biltmore Masonic Lodge #446, AF & AM, the Scottish Rite and the Oasis Shrine.
Richelle Reinoehl Williams
A native of Ohio, Richelle joined our staff in 2000 as a funeral director and embalmer. Richelle is a veteran of the US Navy where she served as a Hospital Corpsman both in the states as well as overseas. She is a graduate of Mid-America College of Funeral Service, where she was a member of Pi Sigma Eta Academic Fraternity. She is also a member of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church and a member of VFW Post 891. She is married to R. Allen Williams, Jr., and is a proud mother to their daughter, Hannah Jane Williams.
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 which allows him to enjoy the outdoors.
Bob attended Swain High School and served in the Far East with the US Marine Corps. Returning 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.
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 worked with the Groces since 1996.
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 home in Weaverville.
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, 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.
Leslie has worked in retail customer service for 50 years and has been with Groce Funeral Home since 1996. She is a native of Raleigh, NC, where she received a degree in Fashion Merchandising from Hardbarger Business College. She and her husband, Bruce, have been married since 1972, and have two grown children, Zachary and Rebecca, both of whom live in the Asheville area. Rebecca and her husband welcomed a new baby boy in February 2018. Leslie and Bruce are members of St. George’s Episcopal Church, where Leslie served as the Church Secretary for 13 years, member of the Vestry, President of the Episcopal Church Women and Sunday School teacher. She was also a Girl Scout leader, and in her free time enjoys traveling, shopping for antiques and decorating.
Hillary Tweed Pennstrom
Hillary joined Groce Funeral Home in 2010 and works full time at our Patton Avenue office. She is a native of Asheville, and a graduate of UNC-Asheville. She and her husband Zack reside in the Mills River community. She is proud to be a part of Groce’s tradition of excellent service.
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.
Becky has been with Groce Funeral Home since 2010. A native of McDowell Co., NC, she has worked in the funeral industry as administrative assistant for over 20 years. She is an active member of Cross Memorial Baptist Church in Marion, NC, where she is a GA/RA leader and singer in the choir. Becky has two children, Wesley and Sydney, and is a very proud “Gaggy” to six grandchildren.
Chris was born and raised in Western North Carolina. He attended and graduated from West Henderson High School. He then joined the Fire Service where he spent the better part of 15 years in combination of paid and volunteer service as a Firefighter/EMT. He has spent the last four years of his service as a Lieutenant and an Instructor. In his free time, he enjoys being with his son as well as riding/serving with a local motorcycle ministry called the Sons of the Savior. Chris joined Groce Funeral Home with plans of completing school to become a licensed funeral director and embalmer.
Staci joined Groce Funeral home in June 2018. She is a graduate of South College. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, church activities, walking, hiking and the beach.
Terrie is an Asheville native and daughter of the late Glenn and Blanche Starnes. She graduated from Lee H. Edwards High School and Carson-Newman College. She regularly assists her husband, Dale with funeral services. Terrie and Dale are parents of Kristina Groce Brown (Ben) and grandparents of William Dale Brown.