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William De Groh '15 February 10, 2024 12:59 PM updated: February 10, 2024 1:08 PM

William Russell "Billy" De Groh 

June 29, 1993 - January 20, 2024 

William “Billy” Russell de Groh, passed away on January 20, 2024, in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 30.

Visitation: 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at Biggers Funeral Chapel with a Holy Rosary to Commence at 6:30 pm. Mass of Christian Burial: 10:00 am, Thursday, February 1, 2024 at Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 5953 Bowman Robert Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76179.

Interment: 2:30 pm, Thursday, at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, Dallas, Texas.

In lieu of flowers or donations to the family, the family respectfully request, charitable contributions can be made to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society ( by selecting “Ways to Donate”, “Tribute Gift”, and in comments adding "In Memory of Lt. William de Groh”. Additionally, donations can be made to the Corps of Cadets Association ( to support future Naval Officers.

He was born on June 29, 1993, in Clinton, Maryland. Billy was a kind, generous, supportive, determined, dedicated, and dependable individual. He was a loving pet parent and cared deeply for his beloved dog, Dexter. Billy was unflappable, calm, and level-headed, always approaching life's challenges with a creative and resourceful mindset. He was respectful, brave, and had a strong sense of duty. Traits he developed through the Boy Scouts of America where he earned his Eagle Scout rank in 2009.

Billy graduated from Saginaw High School in Saginaw, Texas, then attended Texas A&M University as a member of the Corps of Cadets (Fighting Texas Aggie Band) in College Station, Texas where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Construction Science and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

During his service with the Navy from May 13, 2016, until his death January 20, 2024, Billy earned the rank of Lieutenant where he served as Second Division Officer on the USS Wasp from September 2016 to September 2018, and as Assistant Operations Officer, the Assistant Air Defense Officer, and the Ballistic Missile Defense Officer on the USS John S. McCain from September 2018 to June 2021. He was labeled a “natural ship handler and forehanded mariner” by the McCain Commanding Officer.

He then returned to Texas A&M University as a Navigation instructor and served as the College Program Advisor, mentoring over 200 students on their path to becoming Naval Officers. In the summer of 2021, Billy provided direct leadership support for New Student Indoctrination at Naval Station Great Lakes, IL, where he provided basic military training to 136 Midshipmen and 33 Midshipmen instructors. Beginning in August of 2023, as part of the Naval Skill Bridge program to prepare for separation from active duty, Billy moved to Lufkin, TX to intern at Casey Aviation with plans to pursue an aviation career.

Outside of his military and professional commitments, Billy had a variety of hobbies. He enjoyed gaming, fitness, travel, and had a deep appreciation for music and movies.

Billy is survived by his parents, William “Bill” and Sandy de Groh; his siblings, Katie, Josef, and Jessica de Groh; and his paternal grandmother, MaryLou de Groh and maternal grandfather, Russell Phelps; as well as many loving aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, William “Bill” R. de Groh; and his maternal grandparents, Jo Ann and Don Vander Vorste.

Please join us in honoring the life of William Russell de Groh, a beloved son, brother, grandson, friend, and dedicated Naval Officer. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.


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