William F. Delaney, 77, an attorney who retired from the Justice Department in 1962 after more than 30 years of federal service, died of congestive heart failure Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital.

Mr. Delaney was born in Naugatuck, Conn. He served in the Army in 1919-1920. He moved to Washington in 1924 and took a job with the State Department. At the same time, he studied law at night school at Georgetown University and earned his law degree in 1928.

He practiced in San Antonio, Tex., for the next four years and then returned to Washington, where he was an attorney for the Veterans Administration and then for the Homeowners Loan Corp. He joined the Justice Department in 1941 and remained there until his retirement.

Mr. Delaney was a member of the parish of the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Bethesda. He took part in many church activities and had been a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Survivors include his wife, Mildred A., of the home in Bethesda; two daughters, Janet D. Weschler, of Kensington, and Mary D. Dougherty, of Gaithersburg; a son, William F. Jr., of Rochester, N.Y.; 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. CAPTION: Picture, WILLIAM F. DELANEY 1969 Photo