Levine Chapels

470 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA


Toni J. Rosenberg

Toni J. Rosenberg, of Newton, MA, passed away on March 22, 2020. Toni was born in Hartford, CT, on April 14, 1944 and grew up in West Hartford. Her parents were Ann H. Randall and Wilbur Rosenberg. Toni graduated from Chaffee School in 1962, and with a B.A. from Radcliffe College in 1966. After graduation, she studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design.

She worked as an editor and helped produce more than 200 books and hundreds of articles. She developed 52 first-person narrative essays from interviews conducted by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to comprise America Behind the Color Line. Gates acknowledged her contributions: “My consulting editor, Toni Rosenberg, with a clarity and commitment truly rare, crafted essays from the interviews I conducted. Ms. Rosenberg brought a depth of vision to the work that equaled my own expectations for what the companion book to the documentary might convey. I owe my deepest thanks to her both for her tremendous skills as an editor and writer and for her unsurpassed dedication to the book.”

She was passionate about animals and how they are treated. She fostered and adopted feral cats for many years. In the past decade, Toni started her own pet sitting business. She cared for her clients’ pets as though they were her own and her clients loved her for it.

Toni was a very talented pianist who studied Chopin with Roberto Poli. She also edited Poli’s book, The Secret Life of Musical Notation: Defying Interpretive Traditions, and was the driving force behind his starting performance classes.

Toni cared about justice in her life and others’ lives and was active in the women’s movement. She was an extraordinary mother and friend to those (both furry and human) who were fortunate enough to know her.

Toni leaves her daughter, Xue Elana Rachel Rosenberg and Xue’s partner, Simon Coleman; her sister, Marya R. Levenson and husband Andrew Hawley; and her nephew, Alec R. Levenson, Tamara Levenson, and Eve Levenson. She will also be deeply missed by her close friends, including Madelon King, Nancy O’Sullivan, John Cugini, and Ellen Golding. Stephen Rosenberg, her brother, predeceased her. A memorial service will be held when it is possible for people to gather together again. People who want to contribute in her memory could give to Farm Sanctuary, Heifer International, The National Resources Defense Council, or The Southern Poverty Law Center.


  • A memorial service is being planned for a later date


Toni J. Rosenberg

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