Rosa Marie Levis was born March 17, 1878 on Hull Street in the North End of Boston. Her parents, Giovanni and Theresa Finnochietti, were recent emigrés from Genoa, Italy. In her teens, while still a student at the Hancock School, RML began her long career of volunteer civic service, interpreting for doctors in the Hull Street Medical Center. In 1897 she married Albert Warren Levis, a Florentine sculptor and fencer who had come to the United States to help design a bronze door for the Chicago Exposition. They had six children, three boys and three girls; the family lived in the North End until 1914, when they moved to Dorchester. RML was proud of her early advocacy (1910) of woman suffrage, claiming to be the first Italian-American suffragist in Massachusetts. During World War I she participated, with other suffragists, in the sale of Liberty Bonds, and in programs for food conservation and for Americanization of Italian immigrants. In addition, she worked with Boston Italians rolling bandages and assembling supply kits for Italian-American soldiers. She again sold war bonds in World War II, and aided in the organization of relief programs for a war-devastated Italy.
From the guide to the Papers, 1890-1959, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)