Marie Waggaman Berl was born in 1901 and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. Her father nicknamed her “Mariequita” – “Little Marie” -, to distinguish her from her mother whose name was also Marie. She shortened that nickname to Quita as an adult. In 1919, when she graduated from a convent school, her mother insisted that she go to a Catholic college in Washington D.C. But Quita didn’t want to go to another religious school. They compromised and Quita went the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (“PAFA”) and commuted from her parents’ home in Wilmington to Philadelphia.