Edward Saxby Jr. of Cape Elizabeth, a prominent elder law attorney who dedicated his life to helping seniors and families, died Saturday after a fight against non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was 61.

Mr. Saxby was a fierce advocate of social justice causes and fought for equal rights for LGBTQ Mainers. He spent the last weeks of his life promoting affordable health care coverage for all.

In March, Mr. Saxby spoke at a health care town hall meeting hosted by U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree in Portland.

“If the ACA is repealed without an adequate replacement, I will lose access to my health care … and I will die. I will die,” he said. “I have Stage 4 cancer.”

Pingree shared Mr. Saxby’s story on the House floor March 22, urging her Republican colleagues to oppose Trumpcare.

His wife, the Rev. Jill Job Saxby, recalled the moment they learned Pingree was going to use her one-minute speech to talk about him.

“He was delighted,” she said. “He felt it was one of the last good things he could do – share his story.”

Mr. Saxby was a respected attorney in South Portland who practiced elder law for 26 years. He helped seniors and families navigate the complexities of estate planning, long-term care planning, and wills and trusts.

For the last three years, he and his wife operated South Portland Elder Law LLC on Cottage Road. His illness forced him to retire in October.

“For Ed, it was a real calling,” his wife said of the law practice. “He loved working with families. … He took time to listen and understand their stories.”

Mr. Saxby and his wife were married for 30 years. The couple raised a daughter, Shannon Saxby, at their home in Cape Elizabeth.

Mr. Saxby was also the grandfather of two girls.

Shannon Saxby spoke Tuesday about her father’s devotion to family. She recalled the year she moved back with her parents when she was 20 and pregnant. She said he supported her when she went back to school to study social work.

“My dad never gave up on me,” she said. “I’m really grateful for that.”

One of the highlights of Mr. Saxby’s life was taking care of his 8-year-old granddaughter, Eilee Saxby, according to the family. He taught her to be brave. He taught her to read. They went to the library often and read many books together. His wife said he took her to Fort Williams Park at least 1,000 times.

“She became the light of his life for the last eight years,” his wife said. “Every day he was with her trying to plan some adventure. We took her on a million trips. We did a lot together. He would light up whenever she was around. He said she was the greatest work of his life.”

Mr. Saxby and his wife shared a passion for the outdoors. They enjoyed hiking, bike rides, camping trips throughout Maine and especially visiting Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park.

Mr. Saxby loved music. He was a fan of the group Women in Harmony. His wife sang in the group for many years, and its concert on Sunday was dedicated to him.

Mr. Saxby was also an active member of the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in South Portland, where his wife served as associate minister for about 10 years beginning in the mid-1990s.

“He had a huge heart and a big laugh,” recalled John McCall, minister emeritus at First Congregational Church. “His face would just light up when he laughed. You could really feel it within him. He was such a truly genuine and generous soul. He was a remarkable man.”

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