Kenneth A. Payment died Nov. 9, 2017, at Sussman House, of Parkinson’s disease.

Ken is survived by his wife and devoted companion of more than 25 years, Jane Conrad; his children Simone Payment, Elise Banser (Bill) and Ryan Payment (Lizzy); grandchildren Olivia, Max and Oliver; and stepdaughter Katherine McIntosh; as well as his dear cousin, John Payment (Carol).

Except for having Parkinson’s for 20 years, you could say that Ken led a charmed life. But the charm was all his. Ken’s professional life was as a business litigator in Rochester, N.Y. His enthusiasm for the intellectual challenges and strategy of litigation are legendary, as are some of his cases — complex business lawsuits for large corporate clients like Levi Strauss and the Marriott Corp.; involvement in estate matters, including a lengthy estate battle between Malcolm Glazer (who owned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United) and his sisters; and representation of prominent personalities like Dolly Parton (who famously kissed him in appreciation in front of her apartment building on Park Avenue).

Perhaps the greatest challenge of his professional life involved his 30-year representation of the Akzo salt mine in Retsof, N.Y., including after the mine collapsed in 1994, and filled with water. A highlight of his career was his argument before the Supreme Court in 1989 on behalf of the New York State Bar Association, on an estate tax issue. He was a champion of justice, and a fierce advocate for every cause that was dear to him, whether the client was his handyman or a multinational corporation. And he loved every minute of it.

Ken’s joy in the practice of law cannot be overstated, but it was matched by his capacity for love, joy and laughter. He adored his wife, Jane Conrad, whom he married in 1996 after a love affair that turned their lives inside out. He took great joy and pride in his children – Simone, Elise and Ryan, sharing their accomplishments and especially precious times together in Maine in recent years, and relished time with and stories about his grandchildren, Olivia, Max and Oliver, who, of course, are perfect, and best of all, thought he was hilarious. (The grandchildren called Ken “Grandpa Jokey” and 4-year-old Ollie observed that “Grandpa Jokey doesn’t like the Hokey Pokey.”)

Ken and Jane first bought a house in Tenants Harbor in 2003, but decided to make Maine their permanent residence in 2013. This decision was based, in large part, on the personal and exceptional health care Ken had received at Pen Bay and Maine Medical Centers in 2012 and 2013. Ken spent a total of five weeks at Pen Bay and another five weeks at the Knox Center for Long Term Care in 2013, being treated for infections that exacerbated his Parkinson’s, rendering him unable to walk.

During his five-week stay at the Knox Center, Ken met Melvin Williams, a dairy farmer who had recently had a leg amputated. The two of them formed a deep connection founded on healing from the deepest disability and despair through laughter, which sustained Ken until his last days. So, too, did our community of friends in Tenants Harbor, who embraced Ken and Jane with love, friendship and good food. And the members of Ken’s beloved writers’ group laughed and cried as they, and Ken, crafted their stories into pieces that we will enjoy forever. And friends and family “from away” gladly came to visit us in this beautiful part of the world we all call home.

The courage with which Ken faced death should be an inspiration to all of us. His example should stir us to consider how we want to live when age or illness diminish the quality of our lives; to make end-of-life care and decisions long before “the end,” and to communicate those wishes to our loved ones, so that our families will honor those choices; and to help them accept our death when that time comes. Dr. Lauren Michalakes and Sarah Dwelley, R.N., of the Pen Bay Palliative Care team guided Ken and Jane through that process this last year. And Ken made the decision himself to accept hospice care when it became clear that death was approaching.

Ken’s family is deeply grateful to the large team that supported him throughout his lengthy illness, most particularly Dr. Fred Marshall of Rochester, N.Y., and Drs. Neal Yetman, Alexandra Degenhardt, and Lauren Michalakes of Pen Bay Medical Center; and caregivers Laurie Tyler and Angie Duggan.

Donations in honor of Ken may be made to Pen Bay Waldo Healthcare Foundation, 22 White St., Rockland, ME 04841, and will be dedicated to palliative and hospice care and education. A memorial service will be held in Rochester, N.Y., at a later time.