Andrew Earl Newton, 73, who retired in 1964 as director of the Washington region of the old Post Office Department, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday at his home in Falls Church.

Mr. Newton began his career with the Post Office as a special delivery messenger in his native Buffalo, N.Y., where he studied business administration at the University of Buffalo. In 1934, he transferred to Washington and became a postal inspector.

In 1949, he was named assistant director of city delivery in Washington. In March 1961, he was promoted to assistant postmaster general for regional management. A year later he was made director of the Washington region, in charge of post offices in Washington, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

During World War II, Mr. Newton served in the Navy. He was in charge of the Fleet Post Office for North Africa, England and France after the Normandy invasion. He then took command of all mail deliveries in the Pacific area for the Navy.

He left the Navy with the rank of lieutenant commander. His honors included the Bronze Star for his service in the Pacific and a commendation from the secretary of the Navy for his work in North Africa and Europe.

Mr. Newton was an elder of Falls Church Presbyterian Church, president of the Falls Church High School Band-Aides, a member of the Macon Ware Masonic Lodge and of American Legion Post No. 130.

Survivors include his wife, the former Alberta Zimmer, of the home; three daughters, Nancy A. Lundien of Annandale, Gail N. Giambattista of Harrisonburg, Va., and Cheryl K. Newton of Fremont, N.C., six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Diabetes Association.