Charles J. Bovello, 87, a Washington barber and union leader, died Thursday at George Washington University Hospital after a heart attack.

He had been president and then secretary-treasurer for many years of Barber Union Local 239 in Washington.

He also had been active in the International Barbers Union and was its legislative representative at his death.

Mr. Bovello was born in Cefula, Italy, came to Baltimore as an infant and moved to Washington at the turn of the century.

He worked as a boy in his father's barbershop here and then became a full-fledged barber. He gave up the work in the early 1940s when he became involved in the international union.

Mr. Bovello was affiliated with the ABC Beauty and Barber Supply Co. in Washington.

He was a member of Roma Lodge No. 7 of the Sons of Italy, St. Bernadette's Catholic Parish in Silver Spring and the Holy Name Society.

He is survived by his wife, Amelia J., of the home in Silver Spring; four children, Sue Peratino of Springfield, Va., Emelia Mihm of Washington, Charlotte Scaggs of Bladensburg, and Rose McElroy of Silver Spring; a brother, Anthony, of Silver Spring, 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.