Dr. Paul V. Joliet, 65, health officer of Washington County, Md., since his retirement here in 1967 from the U.S. Public Health Service, died of cancer Wednesday at his home in Hagerstown.

He was assistant to the director of the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Environmental Control of USPHS at his retirement. Earlier he had served as chief of the agency's Division of Accident Prevention for five years.

Dr. Joliet came to Washington in 1959 to be chief of the newly organized accident prevention program of the health service. When the program was expanded into a full division in 1961, he became deputy chief and a year later division chief.

He had entered the USPHS in 1942, requested duty with the U.S. Coast Guard a year later, and was medical officer aboard a ship under wartime naval command in the Southwest Pacific for a year during World War II.

After the war, Dr. Joliet was assigned by the USPHS to the state health department of North Carolina and Kansas and then served in public health service regional offices in Kansas City and Atlanta before coming here.

He was born in Cleveland, and graduated from John Carroll University there. He earned a medical degree from the St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1940, and received a master's degree in public health from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Joliet was a member of the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the National Safety Council, the Retired Officers Association and the American Legion. He had been active for many years in the International Association of Traffic Safety Medicine.

He is survived by his wife, Mabel, of the home; five children, Paul V. II, of Porter, N.Y., Regina Von Feldt, of Damascus, Md., Gregory T., of Olney, Timothy, of Takoma Park, and Christopher L., of Hagerstown; his mother, Margaret K. Joliet, and a brother, Leo C., both of Cleveland, and eight grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to St. Ann's Catholic Church in Hagerstown.