John Joseph Kelly Sr., 72, who operated a dry cleaning plant in Alexandria for 20 years, died Tuesday of a heart attack at Alexandria Hospital.

Mr. Kelly, an Olympic aspirant as a weightlifter, held the South Atlantic and Maryland weightlifting championships in the 1930s. He tried out for the 1932 U.S. Olympic team but did not make the team.

He was a graduate of the Bliss Electrical School at Montgomery County Community College and worked at Potomac Yard as a mechanic for the City of Alexandria as a smoke control engineer before opening his own drycleaning business on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Alexandria. He retired in 1965.

A lifelong resident of Alexandria, he was a membeer of the Sportsman's Club of Alexandria, a 33rd degree knight of the Fitzgerald Council of the Knights of Columbus and a 4th degree knight of the Potomac General Assembly, Knights of Columbus.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret, of the home in Alexandria; a daughter, Margo Furr of Alexandria; two sons, Thomas E. of Front Royal and John J. Jr. of Alexandria; three brothers, Stafford, of Alexandria, James L. of New York City and Thomas E. Kelly of Whittier, Calif; three sisters, Julia Camady, of Alexandria, Anne Fegan, of Bethesda, and Agnes Robey of Raleigh, N.C. and 12 grandchildren.