August 30, 1925 - June 7, 2018
William Preston Groseclose, 92, passed away on Thursday, June 7, 2018, at UNC Rockingham Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center in Eden, North Carolina, where he had resided since October 2013. Beloved by family and friends, Bill blessed us with his Christian example of patience, kindness, and selflessness.
A funeral service will take place at Fair Funeral Home Chapel on Monday, June 18, at 11:00 with full military honors by the United States Navy and the Rockingham County Veterans Honor Guard. A reception at Morehead-Fair House will follow. Burial will be private at Oakwood Cemetery, Pulaski, Virginia. On Father’s Day, June 17, the family will receive friends at the home between 2:00 and 5:00 / 6:00 and 8:00.
The elder son of Ballard Preston Groseclose and Jane Dyer Groseclose, “Billy” was born on August 30, 1925, in Pulaski, Virginia. A graduate of Pulaski High School (1942), he served in World War II on the USS Brush in the Pacific Theatre (1942-45) and then attended Hampden-Sydney College, Farmville, Virginia. Upon graduating in 1949, he married Ellen Eskridge on December 23 at First Presbyterian Church in Pulaski. Before beginning his career in textiles, Bill pursued furniture sales with Miller & Rhoads (Richmond) and Ivey’s Department Store (Charlotte). In 1962, he accepted a position with Fieldcrest, Inc., as manager of all retail operations. During his twenty-five year career, Bill made many lasting friendships throughout the company and travelled widely for Fieldcrest during its expansion period. In 1987, he retired to enjoy family trips, tee-times, bridge games, church work, and civic engagement. Whether relaxing at the beach, driving cancer patients to their out-of-town medical treatments, riding a camel in Egypt, or rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, Bill was content as long as he was surrounded by family and friends.
He devoted much time and talent to Leaksville United Methodist Church, Meals on Wheels, Cooperative Christian Ministries / Food Pantry, the Red Cross Blood Drive, and Yokefellow Prison Ministry. His interests included following Tar Heel basketball, the PGA Tour, political campaigns, and reunions of all sorts---high school, college, USS Brush shipmates, Fieldcrest retirees, and of course, family reunions (both Groseclose and Eskridge). His love for people illuminated every endeavor from his first job delivering for Tyler Drug Company, driving a school bus at age fifteen, teaching his namesake the fundamentals of golf, caring for ailing family members, and assisting anyone whenever possible.
Although Bill’s final decade brought many challenges, he remained remarkably himself— considerate, steadfast, and uncomplaining. Appreciated beyond measure are Ruth Martin (perpetually by his side during his final week and last hours), Concetta Ann Brown, Sophia Watson, Dr. Terry Daniel, Liberty Hospice Service, and the South Hall Staff of UNC Rockingham Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center. The family also thanks our friends, cousins, and Rev. A.C. Brock who faithfully visited, phoned, and sent cards. With his gentle humility, Bill inspired us by his resilience, strength, and devotion to Ellen, whose care and well-being remained his paramount purpose until his passing.
In addition to his parents, Bill is predeceased by his infant son, William Preston Groseclose, Jr., and his brother Alan Dyer Groseclose.
Survivors include his wife of nearly 69 years, Ellen Eskridge Groseclose; daughters Martha Groseclose Kolling and husband Chuck; Sarah “Sally” G. Gordon and husband Norman; Ann Groseclose Campbell and husband Doug; grandchildren William Preston Gordon, Ellen Jamieson Gordon, Stuart Preston Campbell, and Caroline Eskridge Campbell; sister-in-law Betsy Wrenn Groseclose; cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends --- all of whom he dearly loved and whose grief is only eclipsed by their gratitude to God for precious Bill.
Memorial donations may be made to Leaksville United Methodist Church, 603 Henry Street, Eden, NC 27288 and Cooperative Christian Ministries / Food Pantry, PO Box 931, Eden, NC 27289.
“Well done, good and faithful servant!”
---the words of our Lord from the Gospel of St. Matthew 25:21
Online condolences may be sent to Fair Funeral Home at www.fairfuneralhome.com