James D. Wilburn, 62, founded janitorial services firm

James D. Wilburn, founder and owner of a Baltimore janitorial services company, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday at his Edgewater home. He was 62.

Mr. Wilburn was born in Madisonville, Tenn., and raised in Oak Ridge, Tenn. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1962, and served in security during his 20-year career. He held assignments in Turkey, Okinawa, Fort Meade and the Pentagon before retiring in 1982.


"Much of his work was top-secret," said his son, James D. Wilburn II of Frederick.

He was presented the Defense Meritorious Service Medal by the Joint Chiefs of Staff at his retirement, and was given Joint Service commendations from the National Security Agency and NATO.


In 1971, Mr. Wilburn, while still in the Air Force, took a part-time job as a janitor for DH Services, a Baltimore property management company. He was later promoted to building supervisor, area supervisor, night operations manager and vice president.

He started Wilburn Co. in 1998, providing services for buildings in the Baltimore-Washington area.

Mr. Wilburn was a member of the South River Club and an avid golfer.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church, Route 2 and Central Avenue, Edgewater, where services will be held at 11 a.m. today.

Also surviving are his wife of 42 years, the former Juanita A. Fortner; a daughter, Tambra L. Ruff of Jacksonville, N.C.; his mother, Eva Mae Wilburn, and a sister, June Fortner, both of Oak Ridge; and four grandchildren.