South Paris – Helen Colby Heikkinen, 86, a resident for one month of the Maine Veterans Home in South Paris, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, June 5, after a courageous battle with breast cancer.

She was born in South Paris on Feb. 6, 1923, to Scott Orange Colby and Annie Hannaford Chase Colby. She was the youngest of eight children. Her mother passed away when she was four-years old and her oldest sister, Laura Foster and her husband, Joel Foster, brought her up. Their son, Erland Foster, was like a brother to her.

She received her education from the Lincoln School on Paris Hill and Paris schools, graduating in 1940 from the South Paris High School.

Helen worked at the store on Paris Hill, the S.L. Merchant Store in Norway, and the Andrews Nursing Home in South Paris. For many years and right up until the end of her being at home, she sold honey and Black Angus beef for her son out of her kitchen. She enjoyed selling and also meeting customers whom she soon considered to be friends.

On Aug. 1, 1948, she married Toivo Arvid Heikkinen. They brought up Toivo’s nephew, Eino Ronkko, and had three children.

She was a very loving and kind wife and mother. She enjoyed gardening and freezing and canning the fruits and vegetables, sharing recipes, making Finnish bread and foods, watching her grandchildren play sports and attending their school programs, keeping scrapbooks and participating in the programs of the Paris Historical Society, playing Phase Ten, refinishing furniture, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, crafts, writing to the church missionaries, reading her Bible, singing hymns and playing the piano. She loved going on church visitation and was an Elder woman, Sunday school teacher, AWANA leader and church clerk for many years at the Paris Hill Bible Church. Most recently she attended church with her son and was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church in Turner.

She is survived by her daughters, Cynthia Cushman of Norway and Laura Drouin and her husband, Paul, of South Paris; her son, Stephen and his wife, Kathy, of South Paris; 11 grandchildren, Kevin, Karen, Sarah, Elisabeth, David, Peter, Stephen, Philip, Blaine, Aiden and Kaisa Marie; six great-grandchildren, Caleb, Hailey, Josiah, Morgan, Isaac and Abigail.

She was predeceased by her husband, Toivo; her nephew, Eino Ronkko; her brothers, George, Charles, William, Sherman and Robert; and her sisters, Laura Foster and Lenise Dennison.

II Timothy 4:7-8: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

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