Signe Waller was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She studied philosophy in France and Rhode Island. In the sixties she married Carl Goldstein and gave birth to two children: Antonia Bess “Tonie” Goldstein, on August 3, 1965, and Alexander Solomon “Alex” Goldstein, on March 7, 1968. From 1967 to 1971 she was an assistant professor of philosophy at Southeastern Massachusetts University. She moved with her husband to Greensboro in 1971 when he received a professorship in the Art Department at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In the spring of that year, Waller founded the Greensboro Peace Center, an anti-Vietnam War organization. When the center folded at the end of the war, Waller accepted a professorship in philosophy and religion at Bennett College.
Her interest in Marxism began in the mid-seventies, and because of her radical political views, she was asked to leave Bennett in 1975. In 1976 she and Carl separated. Around this time she began attending Study Training Circles held by the Workers Viewpoint Organization (WVO). She got a job as a worker at Cone Mills Revolution Plant in Greensboro so that she could better organize a union. After several months at the mill, her comrades suggested she find a different job, and so she took a position as an EKG monitor and desk clerk at Cone Hospital in 1977. That year she began dating Jim Waller, a former fellow of Duke University School of Medicine and a member of the WVO. They were married in January 1978 and celebrated the union on March 7. Waller quit her hospital job in the winter of 1978 and began working at Binswanger Glass Company. She was fired the next year and shortly began working as a spinner at Collins and Aikman, in Graham, North Carolina. She was formally inducted into the WVO on September 16, 1979. Shortly after, the WVO changed its name to the Communist Workers Party (CWP).
On July 8, 1979, Waller participated in the CWP organized protest of the Ku Klux Klan’s presentation of Birth of a Nation at the China Grove, North Carolina, town hall. Feeling the protest was a success, the CWP organized an anti-Klan march and conference for November 3, 1979, in Greensboro. The CWP and protest participants convened that morning at Morningside Homes. At 11:18 a caravan of cars carrying Klansmen and Nazis arrived. After a shot was fired from the head of the caravan, caravan members removed guns from the trunk of one of the cars. In the following eighty-eight seconds, five members of the CWP were killed, including Waller’s husband.
In 1987, Waller left Greensboro for Indiana and began work with the New Democratic Movement. The organization folded in 1990. In 1991 she married Jim Rose, a farmer. Together they own and manage Earthcraft Farm, a Community Supported Agriculture project, in Bringhurst, Indiana. Waller is the vice-president of the Greensboro Justice Fund, and participated in the Greensboro Massacre Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She has four grandchildren, and resides with her husband in Durham, North Carolina. In 2002 her memoir about the CWP and the November 3 events, Love and Revolution: A Political Memoir, was published.