James “Jimbo” Lamont Wilbur
James “Jimbo” Lamont Wilbur, 61, of Sparks peacefully succumbed to complications of Parkinson’s Disease on Friday, February 23, 2018. His wife was at his side as he took his last breath. He was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Reno to James Arthur and Saralee ( Wylie) Wilbur on September 4, 1956.
Jim is a direct descendant of Robert Steele who, according to “A History of Nevada – It’s People and Resources” was “a prominent pioneer citizen” who came to the Truckee Meadows via Plumas County and Virginia City. In 1860, Steele purchased land in the valley and together with his brother owned almost 800 acres near the community that was Glendale along the north side what is now Mill Street. What came to be known as the Steele Nash ranch was owned by the family until it was purchased by the Airport Authority. Remnants of its outbuildings are still visible today. Jim was proud of his Nevada heritage and what his family members contributed to the valley over the decades.
Jim attended Peavine Elementary School, Clayton Jr. High and graduated from Reno High School in 1974. Jim worked a number of jobs before he discovered his true calling with the fire service. He obtained his Fire Science degree from Truckee Meadows Community College and spent several years as an auxiliary firefighter before he was hired by the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District in 1989. He continued his service with the City of Reno after the two departments merged in 2000. He retired as a Reno firefighter but he cherished the memories and his brothers from “the Old Truckee Meadows” days. He loved the fire service and was dubbed “the best firefighter ever” by the last captain he served under.
Although Jim enjoyed many activities which included snow skiing, mountain biking and skydiving (80 total jumps), he was an “audiophile” whose passion was the pursuit of the quality of recorded sound. He spent hours online shopping for vintage stereo equipment to purchase and the highest quality parts to improve their sound and hours in the garage putting it all together. His legacy is the number of “wilburized” stereo systems he left in local fire stations before he retired. He was very generous with his projects and was known to give a set of speakers or an amplifier to anyone he thought would appreciate the quality of sound that equipment would produce, especially his four nieces who he greatly loved and spoiled with stereo systems he had refurbished.
Jim met his new neighbor, Lynn Taylor, in 1998. They hung out for a while, fell in love and finally married on March 15, 2008. Jim had no children but became “Grandpa Jim”, their only grandpa, to Lynn’s 6 grandchildren who he spoiled at every opportunity. When he was with them, he became one of them. He had his own personal nickname for each of them which made them feel extra special to him.
Jim was predeceased by his mother Saralee Wylie Wilbur (1963), his father James Arthur Wilbur (2005) and his grandmother Eu Leila White Hund (1984) whom he loved dearly and with whom his remains will be placed. He is survived by his wife, Lynn, who was devoted to his care; his sister Liane McCombs and her husband Dale; nieces Sarah McCalla (Rob); Marielle Hayes (Sam); Janessa Loftin (Jeffrey); Morgan Christensen (Dallon); great-nieces Hadley, Leila, Lillian and great-nephews Kayden, Thomas, Simon, Jonah and Desmond who all deeply loved him and will miss him. He was also loved and will be sorely missed by Lynn’s son Dr. J. Bryan Taylor, son and daughter-in-law Jim and Cindy Taylor, but especially by the grandchildren; Cobie, Bode, Chloe, Danny, Tommy and Ellie Taylor.
A memorial service will be held in the chapel at the Masonic Memorial Gardens, 437 Stoker Ave., Reno at 12:00 noon on Saturday, March 10, 2018. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations be made in memory of James Wilbur to the UC Davis Neurology Clinic.
Donations may be mailed to:
UC Davis Health Sciences Development
Attention: Jennifer Marsteen
4900 Broadway, Suite 1830
Sacramento, CA 95820
Please make checks payable to UC Davis Foundation.
Online donations to the UC Davis Department of Neurology can be made at the following web address: https://give.ucdavis.edu/go/neuro .