Samuel DelVecchio, 76, president of a chain of hardware stores here, died Tuesday at the Chevy Chase Nursing Home in Chevy Chase. He had Parkingson's disease and a heart ailment.

Mr. DelVecchio was president of Peoples Hardware Stores. The firm, founded by his father Demenico DelVecchio in 1911, at one time had 21 stores in the Washington area. By 1977, the number had been reduced to 13 stores, and Mr. DelVecchio sold 12 of these. He continued to operate the remaining store at 18th Street and Columbia Road NW until he died.

A native of the village of Fiumedenisi, Sicily, Mr. DelVecchio came to the United States when he was 2 years old. The family settled in Washington.

Mr DelVecchio graduated from Central High School, where he was a track star, and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he was on the track team and played football.

In 1922, he joined the family hardware company and became general manager. He was named president in 1941.

He was a former president of the Retail Hardware Association and was a member of the board of directors of Electric Institute. In addition to his interest in Peoples Hardware, he was co-owner of the Simmons Tool New Jersey.

Mr. DelVecchio was a member of the Kenwood Country Club, where he was senior golf champion in 1963, and a founder of La Gorce Country Club in Miami Beach, Fla. He also was a Mason and a member of the Justice Columbia Lodge No.3, FAAM.

For most of the last 30 years, Mr. DelVecchio and his wife, the former Olive Kerondle, divided their time between homes in Washington and then Bethesda and Miami Beach.

Mr. DelVecchio had lived at the Chevy Chase Nursing Home for about 1 1/2 years.

In addition to his wife, of Bethesda, survivors include four daughters, Claire Johnston and Marie Velenza, also of Bethesda, Iris Cotter, of Rockville, and Jane Reichert, of Chevy Chase; 16 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Parkinson's Disease Association, 147 East 50th St., New York, N.Y.., 10022. CAPTION: Picture, SAMUEL DELVECCHIO, 1960 Photo