James M. Zapf, 58, who spent 25 years with the FBI as an information technology specialist before retiring in 2004, died July 6 at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney. He had congestive heart failure.
The death was confirmed by a friend, Michael Marcuse.
Mr. Zapf, a Silver Spring resident, began in the FBI’s fingerprint division and later worked in the finance division, where he designed and modified accounting software.
James Michael Zapf was a Pittsburgh native. He was studying biology at Edinboro University in northwestern Pennsylvania when he suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a car accident in 1976. He was a paraplegic and used a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
He received a degree in accounting from the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh before starting his FBI career.
Years after the accident, Mr. Zapf developed syringomyelia, a complication of spinal cord trauma, which gradually impaired the use of his left arm and further reduced his mobility. He had to give up playing the guitar, one of his favorite pastimes.
Survivors include two sisters and a brother.
— Adam Bernstein