William James Mills II, a lifelong resident of Greenport, passed away December 19, 2016, surrounded by his family and the compassionate staff of Eastern Long Island Hospital (ELIH). He was 95.
“Bill” was born at ELIH Aug. 29, 1921, to Robert Lewis and Kathleen Baldwin Mills. He was a 1939 graduate of Greenport High School and a 1942 graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. He attended Yale University and graduated in the “1945W class” after serving as a fighter pilot in the Navy during World War II.
Bill met and fell in love with Ann Barber Marston of West Chester, Pennyslvania, a Shelter Island summer resident. They married in the fall of 1950 and Bill and Ann, affectionately known as “Nancy,” had four children and were lovingly married for 49 years.
When he was not fishing or sailing, Bill could be found working alongside his father at Wm. J. Mills & Co., taking over the business and continuing to work there alongside his own sons until his retirement.
Bill was a proud member of the New York Yacht Club, Shelter Island Yacht Club and Chinese Yacht Club. He was also a member of the Island’s End Country Club and South Bay Scooter Club. For more than 60 years, he honorably volunteered as member of the Greenport Fire Department Star Hose Company No. 3.
Bill was also a very loyal participant in the Coronet Coffee Club, where he was often in error, but never in doubt. Bill (aka “Billy the Kid”) also enjoyed a competitive game of darts at Duffy’s Tavern located at the Sterlington Hotel in Greenport, home of the Jelly Belly Dart Association.
Bill loved to travel to the United Kingdom and did so often with Nancy until her death in 1999. He was extremely fond of articulate conversation, classical music and enjoyed a thorough argument. Lastly, he adored his grandchildren and was always boasting how proud he was of them.
Bill was predeceased by his wife; his sister Margaret Ann Burden, and brother-in-law Walter H. Burden Jr. He leaves behind his older sister, Mary Elizabeth Mills; his sons, William J. Mills III (Maureen) and Robert L. Mills II (Carol); his daughters, Sarah Marston Sands (David) and Mary Kathleen Beatty (George); his grandchildren, Meghan T. Mills, William J. Mills IV, Dorothy A. Beatty, George T. Beatty IV, Elizabeth A. Beatty, Mariah J. Mills, Robert L. Mills III, M. Kathleen Sands and Emily A. Sands; his nephew, Walter H. Burden III; and his loving companion of 16 years, Doris Schultz.
Memorial donations can be made to Eastern Long Island Hospital, 201 Manor Place, Greenport, NY 11944 and The Island Gift of Life Foundation of Shelter Island, PO Box 532, Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965.