Raphael M. Lupo, 77, a retired examiner in the U.S. Patent Office who was president of the Dunn Loring Improvement Association for 25 years, died at his home in Dunn Loring Tuesday following an apparent heart attack.

Mr. Lupo was born in Italy and came to the United States in 1903. He grew up in New York City, earned a degree in civil engineering by attending night classes at Cooper Union and set up his own construction company.

As a result of the Great Depression, he came to Washington in 1937, and worked for the Coast and Geodetic Survey. He later moved to the U.S. Maritime Commission, and joined the Patent Office in 1947. He retired about 1968.

Mr. Lupo earned an engineering degree at George Washington University.

He was president of the Dunn Loring Improvement Association, a civic group, until his retirement about two years ago. During his service, the association helped persuade the Postal Service to establish a post office in Dunn Loring. Mr. Lupo also served as vice president of the Vienna, Va., chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees.

Survivors include his wife, Yolanda, of the home in Dunn Loring, a son, Raphael V., of West Springfield, and four grandsons.