Ethel Mae Heckman

VASSALBORO – Ethel Mae Heckman, 76, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 at MaineGeneral Medical Center, surrounded by her family, after a brief illness. She was born in Orono on July, 1943, the daughter of Raymond and Ethel (Lyons) Ramsay.

Ethel graduated from Orono High School in June of 1961 and married James Heckman in July of 1961. She worked in child care and as a nurses aid in her early years and was co-owner, with her late husband James Heckman Sr. of Heckman’s Auction Hall in Benton, and later Heckman’s Party Palace in Waterville. She has worked for Acadia Auto Group for the last 30 years.

Ethel was an avid reader and a lover of music and the theater and loved to dance. She loved animals, lunch with friends, holidays with family and Sunday dinners. She also loved to travel but hated to fly, she became queen of the “road trip” and traveled as often as possible.

Ethel is survived by her sister, Lucretia Smith of Waterville; her son James Heckman, Jr. and daughter-in-law Leora Mitchell of Hamden, her son Scott Heckman and daughter-in-law Kia Heckman of Fairfield, and daughter Traci Bernatchez and son-in-law Kevin Bernatchez of Vassalboro. She is also survived by her grandchildren Trevor Heckman, Kalib Bernatchez and Jacob Bernatchez, all of Vassalboro.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm St., Waterville. An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to your local animal shelter