Born: Sunday Aug 30, 1925

Died: Thursday Jun 7, 2018

William "Bill" Preston Groseclose

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     


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Dear Ann and Family, We are so sad to hear of your father's passing. May God's peace and comfort surround you during this difficult time.
Beth and Darrin Pulliam

Sorry for your lose prayers for your familyDAPh
Sandra Parks

Martha and family: It saddened me to hear of your Daddy's passing. I know this difficult journey you all have been on and still are, but lean on God. I assure you He'll walk beside of you all. God bless Ruth. Such a wonderful friend and caregiver for both of your parents. I pray you all find that peace that passeth all understanding.
Debbie Thompson Horton

Bill was one of my favorite friends. He used to stop by the Red Cross office just to visit often. Lovely man.
Jana nowell

Sincere sympathy to the Groseclose family. We are honored to have met this very special gentleman.
The Moseleys

Much love to all of you. What a special man; we were blessed to know him.
David & Candy Smith

Martha and Chuck, We are sorry about the loss of your father. You and your family are in our prayers. Much love, Ricky, Christy, Sydney, and Stella Lee
Christy Lee

My sincere thoughts and prayers are with all of the family! He truly was a wonderful, and kind man!
Wanda Robertson

He was the best boss I ever had. Will never forget him.
Wayne Tate

Martha, Your dad was such a special person to me. The years I spent working with him at the Fieldcrest Store were great times. He was a wonderful person. Teri
Teri Hill LaRocque

Bill Groseclose......the epitome of a true gentleman and a wonderful Christian man. Our sympathy to you all in the loss of your loved one. Pete & Susan Cunningham
Susan Cunningham

A dear loving family, will be greatly missed. Well done, good and faithful servant.
Mary Jane Lahman

Surrounding each of you with prayers of peace & comfort in the days ahead. What a Blessing to have been raised by such godly parents. May God hold you close to Him and give you strength. Jan Moore Griggs
Jan Moore Griggs

What a beautiful tribute to your father, Martha. He was truly a godly man with a servant's heart. He was a blessing to his loving family, his church and community. His kind, sweet spirit touched so many lives. We hold you, Chuck and your family close in our hearts at this sad time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. We love you, Carl and Mary
Mary Kolling

Martha, Chuck and family, a perfect tribute for Bill who deserves all the nice words that have been spoken about him and his gentle nature. We will always remember being with your parents for one of their Wedding Anniversarys and how fun and caring they were with each other. They have had a blessed life together and hopefully this will give you some peace when you think of him. All our love at this sad time, Gloria and Ed Gibson

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