Ruth Marie Milliman was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, where she enjoyed athletics and was actively involved in Little Theater and competitive ballroom dancing, along with singing in pageants and weddings. She graduated from T.L. Hanna High School.
In 1975, Milliman was crowned Miss Teenage Greenville and participated in Miss Teenage America. She then attended the University of South Carolina, where she eventually received a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice.
After graduating college, Milliman was hired by Eastern Airlines as a flight attendant. In 1981, she was appointed First Female Narcotics agent with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Agency and attended the South Carolina Police Academy.
For the past 19 years, Milliman has been involved with and employed in shopping center development. She is currently the Director of Retail Leasing for Centennial American Properties in Greenville, South Carolina.