Barbara Lenox Miller, successful lawyer, judge

February 27, 2024

The world lost a phenomenal woman and trailblazer Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. Barbara Lenox Miller was a writer of romances and mysteries, a journalist, and the first female lawyer in private practice in Kent County.

She was born in Trenton, N.J., Nov. 10, 1928, to Samuel David Lenox and Violet Wagner Lenox. Barbara was the youngest of three children. She attended schools in Trenton. Then, inspired by her mother, Barbara took up the trailblazing mantle and attended Bucknell University, where she first met her future husband.

After college, she worked in New York City for a women’s magazine. One day, while walking in Greenwich Village, she ran into her college chum, James E. Miller, and they reacquainted. They were married in 1952.

During her young married life, she wrote romance and mystery stories. She also worked undercover as Della in “Dial Della” for the Delaware State News, while her husband Jim wrote “Grist from the Miller.” 

In the 1970s, Barbara decided to go to law school, following the family tradition of lawyering: her father, the prominent and very honorable Trenton lawyer Samuel D. Lenox, and her brother, New Jersey Superior Court Justice Samuel D. Lenox Jr.  Barbara was astounded at how many people, women especially, said, “Who do you think you are? Women can’t be lawyers.” She graduated from Delaware Law School and was the 40th woman admitted to the Delaware Bar. Barbara petitioned the Supreme Court to use her tenure as a magistrate in the Justice of the Peace Court for her clerkship because the firms would not accept her. When law firms would not accept her without a clerkship on her curriculum vitae, Barbara found work as a magistrate in the Justice of the Peace Court and petitioned the Delaware Supreme Court to use her tenure there as said clerkship.

While a magistrate, Judge Miller instituted that probable cause was a requirement for warrants. She was unpopular with the police because of it.

Later, Judge Miller ruled that No Parking signs were in one direction forward, not both ways unless specifically stated. Barbara said that her job in JP was the best job she ever had. One never knew who or what would walk through the door. 

Barbara joined the Brown, Sheils and Chasanov Law Firm, where she worked directly for Herman Brown. Former Gov. David P. Buckson called her “a crackerjack lawyer” for her work in Family Court when he presided as a judge there. 

Barbara retired from law to care for her mother and pursue her antiques business, The Miller’s Wife.

Barbara lived 70 years in Huntly Circle (note: no “e” per the original deeds) before moving to Harmony at Kent. She loved the spring in Huntly and the exquisite landscaping she had developed over those 70 years. Many people stopped to compliment her on her beautiful gardens. Those gardens kept her vibrant as she worked them until she moved to Harmony.

Barbara loved to reminisce about old Dover before stoplights, which she abhorred. One of her favorite places was Spence’s Auction Tuesdays and Fridays. At Spence’s, she made many friends; Jack Jacobs is a cherished friend.

She loved to get a bargain even more than getting something for free. A child of the Depression, she was very frugal. Barbara was very active, caring for her one-acre homestead by herself and exercising. She enjoyed the time spent with her friend Carol Hastings on archeological digs.

Barbara is predeceased by her parents; her brother; her sister, internationally renowned playwright Jean Lenox Toddie; and her niece, Virginia Ann (Annie) Toddie. Barbara lamented the loss of her two sons, poet Richard Luther Miller, and journalist and editor James Lenox (JL) Miller, both deceased Feb. 25 of different years. She is also predeceased by her adventure pal, Orna Lee Massey.

Barbara Lenox Miller is survived by her niece, Barbara (Barbie) Toddie Geraghty and her husband Joe of West Chester, Pa., both of whom Barbara treasured. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Jacqueline Lenox, and niece, Linda Fair Lenox of East Amwell, N.J. Her daughter-in-law and caregiver, Lyn B. Arnold of Wyoming, widow of JL Miller, survives her. In addition, an extended family of grand-nephews and their children will remember her as neat and feisty. Barbara also leaves behind dear friends from her exercise classes and lunch bunch, as well as from her days in the antiques business. 

In lieu of flowers, Barbara requests donations to a charity of choice.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 5, at Torbert Funeral Chapel, 1145 E. Lebanon Road, Dover. After the service, Barbara will be buried beside her husband and sons in Barratt’s Chapel Cemetery.

Letters of condolence may be sent and guestbook signed at

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