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Michael Groce, 55, Bismarck, died March 6, 2019, from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident near Center, ND.
A funeral service will be held 10:30 am on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at First Lutheran Church, Mandan, with Rev. Lee Herberg officiating. Burial will take place at 1:00 PM Tuesday at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery with full military honors.
The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday.
Mike was born January 1, 1964, in Bowman, ND to Kenneth D. and Bonita K. (Leppart) Groce. He attended elementary and junior high school in Mandan and graduated from New Salem High School in 1982. Mike attended college at NDSCS in Wahpeton in pursuit of becoming an electrician before he joined the US Army in 1989 and serving until 1992. Following his discharge, Mike changed his career focus and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology in 1998. While pursuing his degree, he worked at Midwest Investigations and then at the North Dakota Youth Correctional Center. Mike took pride in mentoring troubled youth as a case manager at NDYCC.
On May 24, 1985, Mike married his “darling,” Denise Meidinger. Together they had two children, Paul Michael and Kenneth Ray. Mike loved spending time with his boys. It was not uncommon to see Mike wrestling and rough housing with them. Mike also had a special place in his heart for their family dogs, Flip and Roy.
Mike had many passions in life which included hunting, fishing, raising and training horses, home improvement projects, gardening, playing pinochle, and watching sports. He was a huge Minnesota Vikings fan. Spending time with family and friends was very important to Mike.
He is survived by his wife, Denise Groce of Bismarck; two sons, Paul Groce and Kenneth R. Groce, both of New Salem; three grandchildren; his father, Kenneth Groce of New Salem; one sister, Jo (Gordon) Ennen of Ross, ND; his grandmother, Betty Cornell of Dickinson; mother-in-law, Eileen Meidinger of Bismarck; two sisters-in-law; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles.
Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Bonnie; his grandfathers, Ed Groce and Ted Cornell; grandmother, Lora Robinson; father-in-law, Raymond Meidinger; and a close family friend, Lorraine Sturn.