Harold William Willits 1924 - 2014 Abilene, KS
HAROLD WILLIAM WILLITS
Harold William Willits, 89, of Abilene, Kansas, died April 3, 2014.
He was born April 9, 1924 in a cabin on the Willits homestead near McLouth, Kansas, the second of four children of Harry Lee Willits Sr. and Ruth Rogers Willits. Harold was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Harlan Ray and Harry Lee Jr. A sister, Mildred Reynolds, of Butler, Missouri, survives.
Harold attended rural grade schools and graduated from McLouth High School in 1942. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on November 3, 1943. He served as the radio operator of a B-29 crew, 20th Air Force.
Harold married Waneta Jean Colman on July 27, 1947. To this union, four children were born: sons Mark Colman Willits of Fayetteville, Arkansas and Lance Elliott Willits of Lawrence, Kansas, and daughters Ramona Jean Willits and Lori Marie (Owens) Brunt, also of Lawrence. In addition to his children, he is survived by seven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and his stepfamily. Waneta preceded Harold in death on September 29, 1994.
Mr. Willits graduated from the University of Kansas in 1950. He was the art supervisor for the Abilene Public Schools 1950-54. After four years as a technical writer for the Capehart-Farnsworth Company, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, he returned to teaching art and mechanical drawing; his 32 years with USD #497, Lawrence, Kansas included positions at Central and South Junior High Schools. He retired from teaching in 1987, able at last to devote full time to farming until 1994.
Harold married Genevieve “Jimmie” McNall Hottman on June 24, 1997. She survives.
His many community commitments included serving on the Lecompton School Board, the Douglas County Extension Board, the Douglas County Fair Board and the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission.
A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held at Abilene’s First Christian Church on April 7 at 9:30 a.m. A service will also be held that day at 3:30 p.m. at Morning Star Church in Lawrence. Private inurnment will be at Oak Hill Cemetery, Lawrence, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests you contribute to a charity of your choice or make a personal commitment to perform a random act of kindness. Martin-Becker-Carlson Funeral Home, Abilene, is in charge of arrangements.
Please sign this guestbook at Obituaries.LJWorld.com.