Millicent R. Tyler, a former model who later owned and operated a small interior design and upholstery business and was an avid world traveler, died of cancer on April 26 at her home in Guilford. She was 88 years old.
The former Millicent Rosenberg, the daughter of Milton Rosenberg and his wife, Ruby Butler Rosenberg, a homemaker, was born and raised in Kannapolis, North Carolina. After her father died when she was 8, her mother married Charles Perry, a Ciba pharmaceutical salesman.
Ms. Tyler was also a descendant of President George Washington and was an active member of the National Society of Washington Family Descendants.
After graduating from high school in Kannapolis, she received a bachelor’s degree in 1956 from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
After graduating from college, Retta Robbins, a close friend, and Ms. Tyler traveled to Dallas, where the latter worked in merchandising and as a model for Fred Greenhill, the famous fashion illustrator, who worked for two stores of Dallas, Sanger Brothers and Neiman Marcus. She then moved to New York, where she was employed by Saks Fifth Avenue and later Lord & Taylor.
In the late 1950s, she and Ms. Robbins sailed to Europe, eventually settling in Paris where Ms. Tyler earned a master’s degree in French literature from La Sorbonne. A few years later, she returned to the United States and met and fell in love with George Thomas Tyler III, a fellow Southerner, whom she married in 1961.
The couple settled in Govans, while her husband, a graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., studied law at Georgetown University Law School, graduating from law school in 1963.
“She loved the creativity of fashion,” according to a biographical profile written by her children.
An accomplished seamstress, she made many clothes for her children and later taught herself how to upholster furniture. She eventually started a small interior design and upholstery business, and taught upholstery to friends and neighbors, family members said.
In 1972, she and her husband moved to Guilford, where their Greenway home overlooked Sherwood Gardens, and she helped lead the effort that resulted in Music in the Park.
She was an active member of the Women’s Civic League of Baltimore, the Mount Vernon Club, and the Woman’s Club of Roland Park.
Ms Tyler maintained a vigorous lifestyle until September when she was diagnosed with the cancer that ended her life. At nearly 80, she bought a new Mini car and joined a gym where she trained five days a week in the pool.
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She also pursued a lifelong love of travel. She visited Europe several times and traveled extensively across the United States, and as far as China, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, family members said.
Her husband, a partner in the Baltimore law firm Ober Kaler Grimes & Shriver, now Ober Kaler, who had practiced health law, preferred working in his rose and vegetable garden to traveling.
“He only traveled because my mother liked to travel,” Millicent Ann Tyler, of Guilford, explained in a 2010 Baltimore Sun obituary for her father. “He enjoyed visiting London and Italy, but I think he really enjoyed staying at home.”
“Millicent is remembered for her quiet politeness, her moxie, her radical hospitality and her consistently genteel Southern manners,” according to Ms. Tyler’s biographical profile. “Even though she spent most of her life in Maryland, her soft North Carolina accent never left her. She had many friends and admirers and was very socially active until the end of her life. .
Ms Tyler was a longtime communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Cedarcroft, now the Episcopal Church of the Nativity and the Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter.
Funeral services were held Friday at Mount Hebron Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Tyler is survived by two sons, George Thomas Tyler IV of London and John Paul Tyler of Allentown, Pennsylvania, and seven grandchildren.