Rosemary E. Reed Miller was born in Yeadon, Pennsylvania, and was predeceased by her parents, Byron and Eloise Reed, and her brother, Byron Reed, Jr. After graduating from Temple University, she was a newspaper reporter in Kingston, Jamaica; and San Juan, Puerto Rico; and a freelance writer for the Washington Post, Washington Star, Afro-American Newspapers, Miami Herald, and Amsterdam News.
She married Paul Miller, a Howard University Law School Dean, with whom she had two children. When he died suddenly at age 38, Rosemary supported her young family while pursuing her interest in fashion design, by opening Toast and Strawberries, an ethnocentric boutique overlooking Dupont Circle at Connecticut Avenue and R Street NW. At the time, she was the city’s only African American woman boutique owner. After nearly four decades, the popular, iconic boutique closed in 2005.
In 2007, Rosemary authored The Threads of Time, the Fabric of History, now in its third edition. The book profiles 38 African American dressmakers and clothing designers from 1850 to the present. After its publication, Miller, always an avid traveler, visited every continent and dozens of countries, often on educational tours to discuss the book and its previously unsung heroines. In 2013, she spoke publicly about her stage 4 ovarian cancer diagnosis to raise awareness about the disease.
Rosemary Reed Miller died peacefully at her home in Northwest DC. She is survived by her daughter Sabrina Miller Ford, son Paul Miller, Jr., and devoted life partner, attorney John Howard. Also surviving are three grandchildren, two nieces, a nephew, and a host of friends in every corner of the globe.