VisitationSTRICKLAND FUNERAL HOME - CALDWELL
CALDWELL, Texas 77836
Eric Alan Groce, born October 22, 1969, of Burleson County, passed away peacefully at home with his family and friends by his side on Friday, February 22, 2019 at the age of 49 years, 4 months. Eric was the son of Doyle Wayne Groce and Charlotte Jean (DuBose) Groce.
Eric grew up in Somerville, Texas. His parents owned the Western Auto store where as a young man Eric enjoyed working after school and on weekends. Eric worked various other jobs throughout his lifetime including ranching, newspaper delivery, road construction, and maintenance at The City of Somerville and Blinn College in Brenham.
Eric was raised in a Christian home and faithfully attended church with his parents. Eric made a decision to follow Christ as a young boy. This foundation of faith helped to direct Eric towards a life of servanthood. In February of 1994 on an icy-cold night, during a Wednesday evening service Eric met the love of his life. After a few days Eric & Joani went on their first date and exactly one year later they married on February 11, 1995.
Together they served faithfully in Children’s and Youth Ministry at Jubilee Christian Center in Somerville and later at Providence Baptist Church of Caldwell. At Jubilee Christian Center, Eric and Joani conducted Super Saturday ( referred to as Backyard Sunday School), VBS, Kids Camp and Youth Camps. Eric served as an Usher and Armor-Bearer to the Senior Pastor in Somerville. He also drove the church van ensuring that the youth of the Somerville community had the opportunity to attend church.
Together Eric and Joani lived their lives serving and planting seeds of faith into numerous young people throughout their 24 years of marriage. Their expression of true servanthood originated from their commitment to each other and ministry.
Recently, Eric and his family have faithfully attended First Baptist Church of Bryan. The members and staff of this church as well as their Sunday School class “A Closer Walk” have been a tremendous comfort and blessing for Eric and his family during his last months of declining health.
Eric and Joani were blessed with Lamar, Matthew, Emily and Seth. Eric was a devoted Dad and actively supported his children through involvement with the Snook 4H Club as well as other school sponsored activities. For many years Eric, alongside other parents worked concessions at Aggie football and basketball games ensuring their fundraising efforts were successful. This offered their children the opportunity to travel and participate with the Burleson County 4H Exchange group.
Even though Eric was not a Snook Bluejay alumni, his love for the Bluejay athletic program was expressed through his willingness to work concessions, cheering for and supporting his children and their friends. This was Eric’s way of giving back to the community which he dearly loved.
Eric’s compassionate heart was evident by his willingness to stay at the hospital with a loved one or lending a helping hand to a friend. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and spending time in the great-outdoors alongside his children and friends. Eric’s deep love for his family is apparent by leaving a tremendous legacy of love and faith for his children that will continue on for generations.
Eric is preceded in death by his parents, Doyle Wayne and Charlotte Jean (DuBose) Groce and grandparents, Horace Lamar and Neva (Plemper) Groce.
He is survived by his beloved wife Joani (Kotrla) Groce; sons, Lamar, Matthew , Seth; daughter, Emily; brother-in-law, Claren and wife Jean Kotrla; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Eric also treasured countless friends whom he loved dearly.
Eric loved his “special extended family”. He shared a very special bond with Ruben Perez whom he considered like a son. The Kazmir’s; LeRoy, Cynthia and Lori were a God given gift for Eric and his family. Eric had a special relationship with Hunter and Colten Kazmir. He lovingly referred to them as “his blondies”. His relationship with “Aunt Kay and Uncle Ray” and Sarah Robertson brought him tremendous love and joy.
Pallbearers; Lamar Groce, Matthew Groce, Seth Groce, Colton Kazmir, Hunter Kazmir & Ruben Perez
Honorary Pallbearers; Ray Sanders, Floyd Goodloe, Hubert “Sonny” Hearne, Larry Hemenes, Jeff Groce, LeRoy Kazmir, Joey Withem, Vic Barnett, Dick Meyer, Claren Kotrla.
Memorials may be given to First Baptist Church, “A Closer Walk Fund”, 3100 Cambridge Drive, Bryan, Texas 77802 or Providence Cemetery Association, 5212 CR 236, Caldwell, Texas 77836