William W. "Bill" Wilding was born in Winner, S.D., on March 29, 1924, to William Kasper and Ruth Inez Root Wilding. Following graduation from Winner High School, Bill worked with his father on a farm in south central South Dakota during World War II. He raised grain crops and produced milk on a small dairy. He married Thelma A. McFarland on June 2, 1947. They were blessed with four children.