Salleann ‘Sally’ Mills, 83, Peacefully Passes Away April 14, Was 1955 Graduate of Cocoa High School
By Space Coast Daily // May 9, 2021
Sally and husband Bob were instrumental in saving, then flourishing the Moose Lodge on North Courtenay
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Sweet Salleann “Sally” Mills, 83 years young, peacefully passed away on the evening of Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at the loving and caring Wuesthoff Hospice House in Rockledge, Florida. Sally will be sorely missed, but we know she is happy and young again, dancing with her husband Bob in Heaven!
She is survived by her only child and best buddy, Deborah Mills Benson, her “favorite” son-in-law Marcellus Rambo Benson Jr. and her cherished grandsons, Sean Robert Rambo Benson and Marcellus Rambo Benson III. She also leaves behind cousins and many nieces and nephews.
Sally was predeceased by her parents; Merritt Island pioneers Randall Andrew and Agnes Williams Beardsley, her beloved husband of 39 years, James Robert “Bob” Mills, her sister Janice Beardsley Panzone O’Reilly and brother Andrew Beardsley.
She was born March 4, 1938, in Boston Ma. Her parents had moved to Boston during the Great Depression for work but were blessed to return to their beloved Merritt Island. There, they inherited Sally’s maternal grandparents, (David C. and Sallie Ireland Williams), Ancestral Home in Courtenay. Sally was 12 at the time.
Sally attended Cocoa High School. She had to take the ferry across the Barge Canal to catch the bus for school. She enjoyed acting, attending social events and pageants. She was “Mama” in the play “Little Women” and placed 3rd in the Neptune Beauty Pageant. Sally’s radiant beauty shined both inside and out, apparent to all. Throughout life, she would light up the room with her bright, infectious smile!
Sally graduated in 1955 and was off to college. She was deeply grateful for the opportunity and relished her experience, attending Florida State University. She graduated with a degree in Home Economics in 1959. Then, she began her career of 30 years teaching at Cocoa, Clearlake and mainly Jefferson Jr. High Schools. Sally taught many in this area how to cook and sew.
In the Spring of 1960, while visiting her Grandmother Anna Beardsley Blair of Rockledge, she was introduced to young, strong and handsome James Robert “Bob” Mills, who rented the apt. over the garage next to the Beardsley’s ancestral Victorian home. Her Grandmother artfully suggested they go for some Ice Cream, (aka date). Well, they must have really hit it off, because three months later they were married! They welcomed their only child into the world, Deborah Lee Mills Benson, on June 19, 1961.
“Mustang Sally” drove her prized 1964 candy apple red Mustang Convertible all around the Space Coast, delighting in visiting friends and family. She enjoyed sewing her and her family’s clothing, arts and crafts, painting, boating, camping and visiting the beaches.
Sally and Bob joined the Moose Lodge in the ’70s and were abundantly active. They attained the highest offices of Governor and Senior Regent and formed most of their lifelong friendships there. Due to their love, profound dedication and hard work, Sally and Bob were instrumental in both saving, then flourishing the Moose Lodge on North Courtenay.
After Bob passed away, Sally remained ever-active at the Moose, volunteering at Wuesthoff Hospital as a devoted Pink Lady, (for 25+ years), and attending the M. I. Presbyterian Church. Her close friends and family kept her busy with social gatherings, cruises and travels. Sally enjoyed travels to Europe, Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Alaska, and even climbed the Great Wall of China!
Her hobbies included working out at the HealthPlex Gym, playing Bingo (her favorite # 22), dancing (especially to “Mustang Sally”!), and playing Billiards and Darts at the Moose. Sally was an avid reader, bird watcher and nature lover. She loved her game time, wine time, and relaxing in rocking chairs on the riverside porch. Sally enjoyed her Red Hat luncheons with good friends and spending holidays with her Daughter, Son-in-Law and Grandsons, whom she adored.
Sally could always be counted on for sage advice in times of uncertainty or trouble. She was even known to be a crafty “cupid”; At least one long marriage stands today as a result of her down-to-earth advice. She walked with grace and will be missed by all whose lives she touched.
Sally spent her final years living with her daughter and son-in-law where she was loved and well cared for. They were “Three Peas in a Pod”! We miss our Sweet Pea Sally. Love you always!
A Big Thank You to all the Caregivers who helped Salleann and her family, the Nurses on Call, St. Francis Hospice and Wuesthoff Hospice Home. You are truly Heroes and Angels on Earth!
A “Celebration of Sally’s Life” will be held at the Merritt Island Wyley Baxley Funeral Home at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, followed by a Party on the Patio at the Moose Lodge on N. Courtenay.
Please visit DignityMemorial.com and go to Salleann Mills’ page for updates and more info. While there, we encourage you to take a moment to share your thoughts, fond memories and even upload any cherished photos of Sally and yourself!