Dr. Joseph N. Dodson, 76, a Washington physician for more than 40 years until his retirement in 1970, died Sunday at Georgetown University Hospital following a stroke.

Dr. Dodson began the private practice of medicine here in the 1930s, after serving as a resident physician at the old Freedmen's Hospital (now Howard University Hospital).

An allergist, Dr. Dodson was on the staff of the allergy clinic at Freedmen's Hospital. He also served as a physician for the D.C. public schools for a number of years. He also had been a physician at the old Claridge House senior citizen's home in Washington.

A lifelong resident of Washington, Dr. Dodson graduated from Howard University's medical school in 1928.

He was a founding member of the Epiphany Catholic Church here, where he also served on the parish council and sang in the choir. In addition, he was a member of the men's club and chorus at the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Washington.

Dr. Dodson was a charter member of the Pigskin Club and a member of the Alumni Club and Lettermen's Club of Howard University. He also was a member of the Medico-Chirurgical Society and the Allergy Society of Greater Washington.

Survivors include his wife, the former Althea Neal, of the home in Washington; three daughters, Barbara Walker, also of Washington, Jean Jackson, of Seat Pleasant, and Jo-Anne, also of the home; a brother, George A., also of Washington, and seven grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Howard University Alumni Association.