William "Bill" A. Willits was born Feb. 19, 1928, the son of Lawrence B. and Alice Kerr Willits. He was the grandson of William A. Willits, and great-grandson of Isaiah Willits. He was born and raised at the Verdurette, the family homestead, in New Boston. His is one of the founding families of the community. He was fourth generation to work this Illinois farm, founded in 1838.