James Earl Loving, 58, a retired postal employe and real estate salesman in Northern Virginia, died Nov. 23 at Fauquier County Hospital in Warrenton, Va., following a heart attack.

A resident of Port Richey, Fla., since moving there from McLean seven years ago, Mr. Loving was visiting friends in Amissville, Va., when he was stricken.

Mr. Loving was born in Sandidges, Va. About 1939, he moved to Richmond and worked for a wallpaper company there until joining the Navy in World War II. He served in the Pacific and later returned to active duty during the Korean conflict.

In 1946, he moved to Arlington and joined the Post Office there. He also ran a real estate firm from his home and sold real estate for other firms. aHe retired from the Post Office in 1966.

Since moving to Port Richey, Mr. Loving had been a director of the San Clemente East Civic Association and had won several of its shuffleboard tournaments.

Mr. Loving was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in McLean and the American Legion Blue and Gray Post No. 225 in Falls Church. A charter member of Charles Wesley United Methodist Church in McLean, he later belonged to Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church.

Survivors include his wife, Ernestine Daniel Loving of Port Richey; a son, James, of McLean; a brother, Charles Penn, of Amherst, Va.; five sisters, Helen Stork of Crozet, Va., Margaret Doniel of Rockingham, N.c., Elsie Ware and Louise Higginbotham, both of Amherst, and Jean Payne of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Heart Fund.