John H. Hollowell, 54, a retired owner and operator of dry cleaning stores in Northern Virginia, died at Fairfax Hospital Sunday following a heart attack.

Mr. Hollowell was born in Edenton, N.C. He served in the Army in Europe during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart. He was sent to Walter Reed Hospital to recover from his wounds and remained in the Washington area following his discharge from the miltary.

He worked for the old Capital Transit Co. for about three years, and then in 1949, bought a service station at Baileys Crossroads. He oeprated it until 1953, and then went into the dry cleaning business. At his retirement about six years ago for reasons of health, he owned five stores in Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax.

A resident of Annandale, Mr. Hollowell was a member of the Annandale Kiwanis Club and Lions Club. He also was a member of the Elmer Timberman Masonic Lodge and of the Fairfax Elks Club. He was a Shriner who was active in the Kena Temple Lodge and its work in behalf of Children's Hospital in Washington.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth, of the home; a daughter, Camilla Ingling, of Reston; a son, John F., of Burke, Va.; three brothers, Murray and Gilbert, both of Baileys Crossroads, and Julius, of Falls Church; three sisters, Agnes Davenport, of Annapolis Junction, Md., Hedy Kurt, of Annandale, and Mary Boyce, of Edenton, and three grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Heart Fund in his memory.