Gilda Faye Heikkinen
September 15, 1934 – October 9, 2021
RUMFORD – Gilda Faye Heikkinen, 87, of Raymond Street in Rumford, passed away peacefully at her home on Oct. 9, 2021, with her children by her side.
Born in Norway, Maine on Sept. 15, 1934, a daughter of Maurice and Clara (Edwards) Flood, Gilda had a lifelong love for horses. In her youth she marshaled many events and went on to own a couple of racehorses.
After graduating from Norway High School in 1953, Gilda moved to Rumford, where she sold Avon for many years. This not only afforded her the ability to work flexible hours while raising her children but provided an opportunity to become acquainted with many in the community. She then became employed with the United States Post Office, working first as a mail carrier and later at the service counter. In 1993, she transferred with the USPS to an office in Kissimmee, Florida, where she worked for several more years.
Gilda’s love of working with the public led to an unexpected additional career in her 60s when she became a character performer at Walt Disney World. As Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Winnie the Pooh and other various characters, she brought joy and priceless memories to people who visited the theme park from all over the world. She remained with the company until her retirement at nearly 80 years of age. Gilda was greatly loved and respected by her coworkers and will be remembered for her great work ethic and many accomplishments. She proved that any goal is achievable through hard work and determination.
Gilda is survived by several relatives in Rumford, son Jeff Heikkinen, daughter, Julie Volkernick and husband Paul; grandsons, Joseph Heikkinen and wife Brittany, Robert Heikkinen, Derek Volkernick and Adam Volkernick; great grandchildren, Alexandra and Maddex Heikkinen. She was predeceased by her parents; her sister Maureen; and her sons, James Heikkinen and baby John Heikkinen.
A graveside service will be held on Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. at Riverside Annex Cemetery in South Paris.
Monday, October 25, 2021