OBITUARY

Salleann Mills

March 4, 1938April 14, 2021
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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 70’s 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 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 2:00pm 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! Bless you all!

Services

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, May 15, 2021

Memories

Salleann Mills

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Lisa Snyder/Russell

May 16, 2021

Mrs. Mills was always and always will be my favorite teacher. Many days I would stay after school to help her, then she would drive me home. I made my wedding dress and veil because of the sewing skills I learned from her. I loved taking gardenias to her, and to this day, I plant I still plant them wherever I’m living. As a matter of fact, I had just picked some yesterday. Later in the afternoon my youngest sister called me to let me know that Mrs. Mills had gone home to heaven.
Rest In Peace Mrs. Mills! ❤️LIsa Snyder!

Susan Wyman

May 10, 2021

I had her as my home economics teacher at Jefferson Jr. High back in the late 60’s. I can remember those fun cooking and sewing days. They don’t make teachers like that anymore. I always looked forwards to my time in her classroom. She would challenge me to go out of my comfort zone to achieve better than just average. She started my “Susie Homemaker” desires! Thank you Mrs. Mills. Prayers to the family. Susan Wyman

Jeanette Ellison

April 22, 2021

I knew Salleann for many years at the Merritt Island Moose Lodge. Mostly for her coaching our Ritual Team for nine years which we practiced many hours to compete at State and International competitions which we were #1. She was also the State Chairman. When we went to Vegas for convention, her and I took a long walk to visit many of the lobbys of hotels along the strip, i have and will miss her very much! Jeanette Ellison

Kathy Kleekamp

April 21, 2021

Sally was a quiet visitor to the Benson home in Chesterfield, Missouri. Her smile brightened the neighborhood parties. She was so proud of Debbie and her family. When the Club Deb crew came to Florida, Sally was a gracious host. May she have eternal happiness and blessings.

Norma Charroux

April 21, 2021

My very best friend well miss u Norma

Bonnie Hardy

April 21, 2021

Love you Mrs Sally I’m going to miss your beautiful smile 💕💕

Susan Tons

April 20, 2021

We knew Sally from visits to daughter Debbie. My best memory of Sally is New Year's Eve 1999 when she and my mother-in-law Betty partied with us at the Benson's home with the families. She was kind and gracious and a lot of fun. She will be missed.
Susan and Mark Tons

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