Joseph Kajeckas, 81, who was charge d'affairs of the Lithuanian Legation here for 20 years before retiring in 1976, died of a cardiovascular disease Sunday at the Wisconsin Avenue Nursing Home.

Mr. Kajeckas began working for the Washington legation of the exiled Lithuanian government in 1940.

An indenpendent Lithuanian had been established after World War I. It was occupied by the Soviet army in 1940s, and later by the Germans, before reverting to Soviet control during the latter stages of World War II. It was that independent Lithuania, which existed for less than 20 years, that Mr. Kajeckas represented here.

He was born in Shenandoah. Pa., but journeyed to Lithuania with his mother in 1909 after the death of his father.

Mr. Kajeckas was educated in Lithuania and then received degrees from the University of Montpelier and the School of Political Science in France.

He joined the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry in 1929, and served in the London legation for five years before returning to Lithuania, where he worked until 1939 in the ministry. He was then named counselor of the legation in Berlin.

When Soviet troops occupied Lithuania in 1940 he came to this country where he worked as the legation attache. He assumed the post of charge d'affaires in 1957.

From 1940 to 1957, he edited the legation's journal, "The Lithuanian Situation."

Mr. Kajeckas was a Knight Commander of the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great and a member of St. Matthew's Cathedral parish here. He belonged to the International Club of Washington.

He is survived by his wife, Ona, who lives at the Sacred Heart Home in Hyattsville; a son, Gabriel, of Bloomington, N.Y., and three grandchildren.