Leroy Wade III, 49

Cleaning company owner

November 02, 2006

Leroy Albert "Lee" Wade III, who founded and owned a commercial cleaning business, died of cancer Oct. 25 at his Easton home. He was 49.

Born and raised in Annapolis, he cut short his education in Anne Arundel County public schools. Earning money by washing merchants' windows, he later branched out to commercial cleaning and won a contract to clean a Sears store on Alabama Avenue in Washington.

"He was a self-made and self-educated man. He loved business and he read everything he could," said his wife of seven years, the former Melissa Faye Schmick, who worked with him.

At his death, he was the owner of Wade Services, a commercial janitorial business that supplies cleaning workers to malls and department stores in the Mid-Atlantic states. The business has about 200 employees.

Previously, he owned related businesses, including American Cleaning Corp., Store Systems Inc., AmeriMaid and Masterworks.

Mr. Wade owned the Cape St. Claire Shopping Center, where he operated Cape True Value Hardware. He earlier owned a restaurant there, Bebo's, and the Jones Station Inn in Arnold.

Mr. Wade often discussed politics with friends, his family said. He hunted and fished and owned five Labrador retrievers that rode alongside him on his John Deere Gator utility vehicle.

Services were Tuesday in Severna Park.

Survivors include a daughter, Lizabeth N. Lewandowski of Annapolis; his parents, Margaret and Leroy Albert Wade Jr. of Annapolis; two brothers, Wayne Wade of Annapolis and Robert Wade of Easton; and two sisters, Terry Tayloe of South Riding, Va., and Lori Alton of Annapolis.

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