William Edward Haast was born on December 30, 1910 in Paterson, New Jersey to parents of german descent, Gustav and Otillia Haast. He had two brothers, Arthur "Art" and Jack, and sister Victoria, "Vic". From an early age he exhibited remarkable energy, and it wasn’t uncommon for him to be seen running around the perimeter of the house, burning off energy and calling out upon occasion, "Mom, make me an egg!".
Bill Haast embodied the characteristic for which his genealogical line was known and for which his family name was given; the word Haast in dutch translates to “ hurry“ or “haste”, and by all accounts and throughout his entire life, Bill Haast was a man on the move.